FYI-what happened before being called in by the elders
April 3 2002 at 8:47 PM
Mac McAlister from IP address 184.108.40.206
The following info is what happened in Jan. 2002 which led up to me being called in by the elders. I realize this happened over 2 months ago and I should have supplied this sooner, but if anyone is still interested here it is.
My name is A.L."Mac" McAlister and my wife is Barbara. We were faithful members at Richland Hills COC for approximately 11 years. The following statement gives the sequence of events that led to me being called before three elders to be chastized as being divisive. The summary of that mtg. has been provided.
SEQUENCE OF EVENTS:
1/9/02-Wed. night service-I was unable to attend this service because I work out of town during most weeks so I can have weekends off to attend Sun. services. Evidently after the lesson one of our ministers introduced to the congregation a group of approximately 160 members. These people, both men and women, were asked to come forward and one of our elders prayed over them to bless them as "special servants." Apparently the elders had decided that RHCC would no longer have deacons. I say apparently because this rather significant detail wasleft out of the announcements made that night. I have discussed this situation with numerous fellow members who were in attendance at this particular Wed. night service. To the person, no one was aware our deacons were being replaced with "special servants." Even more appalling, approximately half of the current deacons had not been informed of this rather significant decision. Even some of the men that came forward that night did not realize that they were no longer deacons but were now officially "special servants." If "special servants" are replacements for the deacons then how can women qualify when a deacon is supposed to be the husband of one wife (1Tim.3:12)? How confusing!
1/11/02,Fri.-I called home from a layover in Honolulu and my wife told me that the word was out that RHCC would no longer have deacons. The apparent source of this information was from a female minister and someone who works in the church office. My immediate response was that this is nonsense and somebody's foolish gossip. I told my wife that I would call some elders that we know and advise them of the story that was going around so they could "nip this rumor in the bud."
I attempted to contact three elders-Jon Jones, James Kelso, and Bob Hamm. After numerous attempts, I was able to get Bob Hamm on the phone. I told him what I had heard and was absolutely astonished by his reply. He said that this was no rumor it was in fact true!! I almost ate the phone. How is this scripturally possible?? Deacons have been a part of the Lord's church for 2000 years! RHCC has had deacons for 45 years. How do you suddenly ignore the divinely inspired words of the Apostle Paul? This was simply unbelievable!Surely there has been a tragic mistake!
Mr. Hamm told me that the elders had been studying this matter for some time. Their study was apparently based on a paper written 8 yrs earlier by Eldre Echols. the conclusion of this study was that there were "deaconesses" in the first century church. I told Mr. Hamm that I had never seen the word "deaconess" in any scripture in any Bible that I had read. Mr. Hamm said that the term "their wives" or "women" in 1Tim 3 refers to "deaconesses." My reply was that I doubted that a man as articulate and capable as the Apostle Paul needed anyone to redefine the meaning of his divinely inspired words 2000 years after he wrote them. It is my belief that this verse is referring to the wives of deacons and/or the wives of elders. Mr. Hamm replied that this was a matter of opinion. I reminded him that my opinion was supported by 2000 yrs of Bible history as well as the teachings of RHCC for 40+ yrs. He had no reply.
My greater concern in this matter was fact that the elders were less than candid about bringing this new policy before the congregation. It would seem to me that if through their studies they had achieved some sort of major breakthrough in scripure interpretation that they would want to make certain that their flock(the congregation) heard about it loud and clear. Why not share what they had studied with their fellow Christians? Surely these church leaders would want the entire congregation to be entirely aware of their new revelation! Wouldn't they shout it from the rooftop??Any decisions they had made concerning eliminating the office of deacon would certainly be of interest to every member of RHCC, wouldn't it??
But instead the elders decided to make an announcement after a Wed. night service. And they didn't even bother to tell the congregation that we no longer had deacons!! The announcement simply introduced men and women as "special servants." Gee, I was under the impression that we were all servants. That's what Jesus was. First, the Son of God was a servant! I wonder what makes one servant more special than another?! Is the rest of the congregation non-special servants?? I don't think Jesus saw it this way.
I asked Mr. Hamm why the elders were reluctant to share their "good news" with the congregation. He said that they had announced it to the entire congregation on Wed. night.I reminded Mr. Hamm that it was impossible to get the entire congregation in the auditorium at one time. That is why we have 3 services on Sun. morn.The attendance on Wed night is approximately 1700. The attendance on Sun morn is over 3500. Why not have a Sun morn sermon about "special servants?" Shouldn't we get the word out so everyone will know? How about an announcement in the bulletin, or a mailout? Mr. Hamm said the elders decided to do it this way to avoid causing a major hassle with this matter. In other words, the elders made a purposeful decision to not be completely open and candid with the members of the congregation. At best their action is inconsiderate.To many their action appears to be openly devious and deceptive. If the elders are completly confident with their decision in the matter--why would they overtly or covertly attempt to conceal their decision from the congregation??
I asked Mr. Hamm why the elders felt compelled to make such a controversial decision. He said they had to do it to promote church growth. I reminded him that growth at RHCC was so good that we had to ge to 3 Sun services--and this growth was still while we had deacons!! He said they had to do this because other churches were doing it. (What a poor reason!) I pointed out that there were numerous churches in the DFW area that had significantly greater growth than RHCC but they had little to do with teaching the gospel.These charismatic organizations are involved in religious entertainment and are there to put on a good show.
No where in the scripture can I find that the elders are responsible for church growth. The elders are servants to the congregation and one of their first responsibilities is to make sure the "gospel" is taught exactly as it is written in the scriptures. The divinely inspired words of the authors of the New Testament should not be added to nor taken from (Rev.22:18-19).
Finally, I asked Mr. Hamm what was the selection process to determine who these "special servants" would be. In the past the congregation has nominated men to be deacons, then "tested" the nominees as the scripture outlines. Mr.Hamm said the elders had selected the "special servants." I asked who "tested" them.Mr. Hamm replied that the elders did. So, in fact, the elders decided to eliminate the office of deacon.They chose, tested, and anointed their new "special servants" with absolutely no input or consultation with the congregation. Is this scriptural??
Mr.Hamm ended the conversation by stating that the elders had made their decision, it was final and there would be no reconsidering! I suggested that perhaps the elders could have some open forum meetings with the congregation to explain what was going on. Mr.Hamm restated that their decision had been announced to everyone on Wed night. I tried to reemphasize that there was much confusion about what had occurred and the congregation neede to be informed. Mr.Hamm reminded me that they were the elders, they were all in agreement, and their decision was final i.e., there will be no open discussions with the congregation.
In summary my conversation with Mr.Hamm enlightened me to a problem even greater that the fact that RHCC would no longer have deacons.There is no doubt that the New Testament mentions deacons on several occasions.It is my belief that God instructs the church to have elders and deacons when qualified men are available to fill those positions. There is even less doubt that the elders' actions in this matter were deceitful and devious. I can't speak of their motivation; but their actions are a matter of record. The elders should go before the congregation, repent of their actions and request forgiveness of the entire congregational body at RHCC.
1/12/02,Sat. I returned home from my trip. I called a friend of mine who is in my Sunday School class and in our care group. He is a good and godly man with a keen knowledge of the scriptures. I asked if he had heard about the elders' decision to eliminate deacons at RHCC.He said he had and vehemently disagreed with it. He had talked with a couple of elders about it and was trying to set up a meeting with them. He asked if I would like to attend if such a meeting could be arranged. I said absolutely YES!
1/13/03,Sun-My wife and I attened early Sun School and the second service. No where at any time did I see nor hear any mention of the fact that RHCC would no longer have deacons. Not once was the new office of "special servant" mentioned. There was no hint nor clue to the fact that both men and women would now fill the position in the church that the Apostle Paul described in 1Tim 3. How could such an important and significant change go unheralded?? What is going on?? Why all the secrecy??
That night we attende our care group meeting as we normally do on the 2nd Sunday of each month. There were 28 people in attendance. During the request for prayers I mentioned that we should pray for our church and its leadership as go through this controversy of no longer having deacons. Other than one other couple, no one else at the meeting had any idea that the elders had in fact decided to make this change. Four other people had heard about it but dismissed it as nonsense because such a change was obviously not scriptural. When two of us assured the group that we had talked directly to different elders who assured us that the decision has been made and in fact was in effect, everyone was appalled!!How could this be? What about 1Tim 3?? What about Philippians? RHCC has always had deacons!! The C of C has always had deacons.There were deacons in the first century church!If "special servants" are replacements for deacons, how can a woman qualify. Can a woman be the husband of one wife? How confusing!!!
My friend mentioned that he was trying to set up a mtg with an elder or group of elders to get more information and guidance. He reiterated the need for prayer and study of the scripture. One of the other men led an eloquent prayer request for a special blessing on our church and its leadership in this matter.After the prayer and a timely Bible study, our leader assured the group he would attempt to keep everyone informed as to what was going on. Obviously there was much CONCERN and DISMAY with the care group.
1/14/02-Mon-My friend called and said he had a meeting set up with Jon Jones for Tues.He said Jon felt that we should go talk to Eldred Echols. He wanted to know what I thought about getting Eldred involved with this matter. I responded that I understood that Eldred was in failing health and confined to a wheelchair and I didn't really feel comfortable imposing on him. This was a decision made by the elders not Eldred Echols.Granted both Bob Hamm and Jon Jones had stated that the paper written by Eldred 8 yrs earlier was a factor in their decision to eliminate deacons. They both stated that Eldred was convinced there were "deaconesses" in the first century church.
I must state that I appreciate the fact that the elders listen to a man like Eldred Echols.At RHCC, when Eldre speaks peole listen!!! He is a man deserving of such respect!Having said that,I will also say that I have read other papers written by equally scholarly men. These men acknowledge that women were dutiful servants in the first century church.But no where do they find a scriptural basis for an office of "special servant" that replaces the office of deacon. As a matter of fact, I don't see that Eldred's writing came to this conclusion. Again, no where in my study of the Bible do I find the word deaconess in the scripture nor do I find the qualifications for a woman to serve in an office or official position of the church. It just isn't in God's plan.
I have the utmost respect for Eldred Echols. As a matter of fact, he taught the first Sunday school class we attended at RHCC. There is no doubt about his credentials. However, this decision was made by the elders and that is who I would go to to seek clarification and guidance in this matter. This was relayed to Jon Jones but Jon insisted that we involve Eldred in our discussion. He said we could meet at Eldred's house at 10:00AM Tues. Reluctantly, I agreed.
1/15/02-Tues.Jon Jones, my friend and I met at Eldred Echols home at 11:00 AM.We were invited in by his lovely wife and met with Eldred in his living room.He was in his wheet chair and appeared to be quite frail.Jon asked how he was feeling.He replied, O, about as good as can be expected." He asked why we were there.
Jon asked if we could impose on him to share some of his thoughts about "deaconesses" in the first century. Eldred reiterated what he had written 8 yrs earlier. He stated his studies had convinced him there were women in the first century church who served in special situations. He believed Phoebe to be a deaconess who was doing mission work with the Apostle Paul(I find no scriptural basis for this assumption).He allowed that the word "women" or "wives" as used in some translations could be referring to females who did special service on various occasions in the first century church. He talked briefly about widows and young ladies who had taken vows of celibacy that also served the early church and also worked with the Apostles.
Throughout this discussion, Eldred spoke with a low frail voice. At times, we had to ask him to repeat what he had said. I felt very uncomfortable imposing on this elderly gentleman. However, he did appear to be amiable to our inquiry. I particularly wanted his input on the conjunctive work "likewise" that was used twice by the Apostle Paul in 1Tim 3.
Three times, I asked Eldred if the word "likewise" as used in 1Tim 3:11 meant that the group of people the Apostle Paul was discussing before and after this word were of equal credentials. Three times Eldred emphatically and without hesitation said, "NO!" Certainly if "likewise" here meant that the subjects before and after were the same; then the word likewise in 1Tim 3:8 would have to mean the same thing. This would mean that deacon and elders are equal. This would also mean that women could serve as elders since "likewise" means they can serve as deacons. Surely if a woman can serve as an elder she can surely serve as a preacher. Is this where the elders are going? Is there any way this is scripturally possible? What's going on ? I'm confused!!
Our mtg with Eldred concluded after about an hour. I left wondering is what Eldred had said in his paper is in fact what the elders were doing. I also left feeling somewhat quilty about even being there. As I stated, this decision was made by the elders not Eldred Echols. I am still seeking clarification and understanding from the elders at RHCC.
1/16/02,Wed-Attended Wed night service. Rick delivered a lesson on the Profane fire of Nadab and Abihu(Lev.10)One of the points he made is that God expects reverence and obedience to His word. He stated, "God will not tolerate flippancy and irreverance in His presence." Doesn't this still apply today? Is the scripture not the inspired word of God?
Apparently, Rick's point was that these two young men had been disobedient and irreverent and God was quick and absolute in His disapproval. One message I got from this lesson is that God expects His word to be obeyed.
1/18/02,Fri-Mailed letter to the elders. Posted above. Never received a response.
1/20/02,Sun-My wife and I attended early Sunday school and second worship service. In Sun school class there was some discussion about deacons being replaced with "special servants," but mostly people were uninformed or unbelieving this had happened. After services Rick mad a short and unprofound announcment about a Wed night lesson on the word deacon. My wife and I and everyone I'd talked with were most anxious about what Rick would have to say about his. But still the major problem was a lack of communication. The majority of the congregation were still unaware that anything of such significance had transpired. Surely Rick's Wed night sermon would be an opportunity for everyone to pray and study together and to see what the scripture has to say in this matter. Unfortunately there had been no major announcement, mailout, bulletin exert, etc. to let the congregation know what was going on. Surely in a matter as significant as this everyone in the congregation should be involved. Why is the consideration in a matter of this magnitude not being given the utmost priority by the elders and ministers at RHCC? Is there something to hide? What's going on? Is there a concern that the congregation will be unable to understand? The elders stated they had studied this matter for over a year. Apparently, the congregation is only going to get one Wed night sermon of enlightenment. If this Wed night service is going to explain the reasons for changing 2000 yrs of church doctrine certainly every Christian would want to see how these changes are scripturally founded. Somehow, someway, someone needed to get the work out that someting major is happening in our congregation. With this in mind, my wife and I were inspired to mail out a flyer. The message of the flyer was simple---study your Bible, pray to God and come to church. Somehow the elders at RHCC decided that this message was divisive.
1/21/02,Mon-My wife, Barbara, and I spent Sun night and Mon, addressing and stamping 2000 flyers. We needed to get them in the mail by Mon to be sure everyone would receive them before Rick's Wed night sermon.Our intent was pure and simple--every member at RHCC needed to attend and hear an explanation as to how the elders had come to such a monumental decision.
1/23/02,Wed-Attended Rick's sermon on deacons/deaconesses. The tape is available through the church office. I will make only two comments. He contradicts himself about deaconesses in the first century church and he contradicts what Eldred Echols says concerning the word "likewise."
1/27/02,Sun-Bob Hamm calls about 1:00PM. He stated the elders had discussed the flyer my wife and I had sent out and determined it was divisive. Apparently this discussion occurred at the men's retreat the previous day. At no time did any one elder contact me personally to discuss their concerns about my actions. As a matter of fact, to this day, no individual elder has yet contacted me to discuss this matter. Instead they had a group mtg and apparently decided to condemn me having not heard one word from me personally to even verify what I had or had not done.Mr. Hamm's major concern was to ascertain the names of everyone involved so he could "deal with them" on an individual basis. Apparently Mr. Hamm was having some difficulty believing my wife and I were able to prepare and mail 2000 flyers in such a short time.Finally Mr.Hamm indicated he and two other elders wanted to meet with me. I said I would meet with them anywhere, anytime, but I insisted on bringing witnesses.He was reluctant. Obviously they wanted the mtg three against one. He said he would have to "check with the guys," and let me know. The mtg was finally set up for Jan. 31 at 4:))PM.
What occurred at the mtg is available in a previous posting.
After the Wed night sermon on deacons (1/23/02), we have not attended RHCC again. My wife and I each wrote a letter to the elders asking them to remove our names from the rolls at RHCC (dated March 12,2002). We have not received any reponse to even inquire if we are attending church anywhere. My wife has yet to have any elder communicate with her during this entire ordeal. As you may recall the elders refused to allow her to attend the group mtg. with the elders. Are these men truly shepherding God's flock?
What is your goal here? You have not posted on this board in ages, and yet...you still seek to stir up an issue that we've basically put to bed as one of preference rather than salvation. Bottom line: No one at RHCC is going to hell because we no longer call our servant-leaders "Deacons".
If you're comfort level requires that, then fine - you have done what you should in leaving RHCC. But DO NOT make the mistake of thinking that you are defending the one true faith by telling tales out of school in a public forum.
You have moved on, and I will urge you yet again, to let this go. Your dealings with the RHCC elders are between you and them, not me or anyone else. The elders will NOT respond on this site, as they have already responded to you, so do the right thing and continue with your new congregation.
Again, WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE?? The fact is, you can't be doing this for any reason than to stir up problems in a congregation you no longer attend.
Thank you for the time you have put into trying to keep the faith and keep the word once delivered to the saints. I am sorry your good work went to no avail, but there is no blood on your hands, because you tried. If others wish to remain under such leadership they do it at their own peril. Your ordeal also shows us that this problem with the leaders of this Laodicean church age bunch, is a common problem we all must beware of and watch for. Just know that when this type of disobedience involves the Eldership, it is hard to warn your Brothers and Sisters, because the Edlers control the lines of communications. You can only do the best you can under these circumstances. Thank you agian CONCERN MEMBERS for this means of notification and warning system.
Thank you Lord for the Holy Spirit, we pray that you open the eyes of those that read these warnings and you deliver them from this apostate church age so they would watch and pray always that we may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that should come to pass and to stand before Your Son, our Husband, In His name I pray, Amen.
My first impression of this sight was to condemn as to judgemental. However, my wife and I left RHCC several years ago in a scriptural disparity with one of the elders referenced in your article. I found his refusal to listen to my concerns alarming. My parents left a couple of years after we did in a disagreement with an elder. Again, my parents concerns were pushed aside and both cases we were told we should accept their decision as final with no scriptural bases to either decision. It is alarming the this trend has not only continued but seems to have escalated to a degree that may prove detrimental to this thriving congregation. It is very hard to go through something like this especially with men you elective chose to guide to down the rode to heaven. My hope and prayer for that church is that the elders and leadership would be willing to listen to the cocerns of their members.
I hope you have found another church home and can continue God's work there.
Mr. Anonymous! If you want to have a conversation then put your name. If you don't put your name that just tells me that you don't really stand behind what you say! Everyone needs to read 1 Timothy 2. Females in leadership roles are wrong...it says it right there!
I have called information trying to find your phone #. I agree with what you said in your paper. I am a member at N. Beach St. COC. I would like to work with you and would like to help get the truth out. Please contact me. 817 790 0700 office, 817 847 9716 home, 817 307 3018 cell. THANK YOU! Bill Bridges
Why don't you get a life and get over your unholy righteousness! You don't have a monopoly on "the truth" and it is not your job to convict others of the truth. That is the Holy Spirit's job. Our job is to LOVE OTHERS. Your sowing discord is not love. The elders at RHCC are up to the job of sheparding their flock, they don't need you to do it for them.
About 4 1/2 years years ago Jesus sent me out to stomp on snakes head.
Know what else? Just before that, He gave me the answer to a prayer with a LUCID DREAM about a farm before I saw it: a hidden valley 6 miles and 100 years outside of Hohenwald. That allowed me to run screaming from BIG CHURCHISM. Only problem: I had to learn how to stomp on Rattlers and Copperheads. Huh, Huh, Huh: kno wat? Got me a BUSH HOG. A bush hog is to SNAKES AND VIPERS as the INTERNET is to MUSICAL worship and "women and children" or "the effeminate and children" ruling over you in the rapidly becoming Babylon Whore church which will be found filled with musicians, instruments, commerce and smatterings of false religion gained by lying about the Spirit of God.
Your pagan temple named after the holy whore, Kirke or Circe, is not a church of Christ which is a SYNAGOGUE or school of the Bible. T. Campbell had the solution to unity when he called it THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST. When you make it a pagan worship center with a restored Jewish priesthood, Jesus takes the CANDLESTICKS. Kno wat: not among the Jews nor the VILEST pagan temple did the singers or musicians ever get into the holy place even in the carnal sense as a type of the church of Christ. When the singers and musicians pollute the holy place where the CANDLESTICK is located, God keeps ahead of you and removes the Candlestick. That is why you are dying of hunger and thirst for the WORD but have lost the WILL to find it: God took it away from you.
No wat? In that period I have had over 3 million contacts of one kind or another and before you guys (?) get to Europe as evangelists wearing gargoyle "skins" or DEMONS, I have already warned them about paganism such as "musical worship, tithing, helping finance a temple which someone will steal from you" and a host of other GOSPEL. I regularly CAST OUT the Tithing Demon and introduce people to the TRUE Gospel in which Jesus died to free you from DOCTORS OF THE LAW.
I can show you how "ministers" who try to ASCEND above God and even use little ZOE people as guiding lights to SEDUCE dues-paying members have not the slightest hesitation to LIE about God, His Word or history. Zoe is Lucifer: She tried to seduce the very angels and got cast out into the garden of Eden with her STRING instruments, PERCUSSION instruments and WIND instruments. The effect of HER ACTING the "harp playing prostitute" even in the garden caused YOUR earth to be cursed.
As long as you guys are lying about the Holy Spirit being the African "little person (Spirit) in the BIG person (me)" then I have to EXPOSE you to the fact that Jesus is the NAME of the Holy Spirit. As such, He said MY WORDS are SPIRIT and LIFE. Jesus didn't make thrones for ministers-become-masters. He sent then OUT with His gospel which IS THE POWER to salvation. There is only ONE GOD and Full Deity dwelled in Jesus Christ (Col 2:9). Your view of the neo-trinity being promoted by Max Lucado and Rubel Shelly and all of the little CLONES contradicts the Bible and ALL early scholars even those who introduced the word TRIAS but never saw the Godhead separated into a FAMILY OF GODS.
This new view is ANTI-CHRIST in character; denies that CHRIST (as God) "came fully in the flesh" and therefore identifies you as ANTI-CHRIST. That FEELING you get when the musical team (originated by Satan) PERFORMS is 100% sexual in nature: that is not a HOLY SPIRIT but it certainly, as in the garden of Eden, sucks in the seekers.
This is how I got my message which I COULD NOT resist:
"Kenneth, you are old and contrary but I have a commission for you: I want you to go into ALL THE WORLD and stamp out THE SEED OF VIPERS (Pharisees or changers and peddlers of the word). They are LIARS because they 'speak (sing) on their own.' This IS the gospel. I have lost track but I am certain that I have gone into EVERY COUNTRY reached by sunlight (to power computers).
On the other hand, your VIPER'S SEED are seducing YOU into building THEM a TOWER OF BABYLON where they can sit on the top. This top was the Babylonian "heliport" where the gods took off and landed and would DO you for a price even though the "god" looked a lot like the MINISTRY TEAM composed of priests, soothsayers, musicians, prostitutes and money collectors."
Musical praise teams claim to be "priests to lead you into the presence of God" (also Rubel Shelly). We are the PLATFORM upon which God lands."
You are exactly where God predicts all but a TINY remnant to be when Jesus comes again.
I got a life 'MAN' and I don't think that I can do anything for mockers but I can warn the WATCHING WORLD
Ken: the next part of my LIFE is to take a long nap while watching the latest news.
It is truly a sad day when one claiming to be a child of God takes the attitude displayed in this message towards another Christian whose transgression is the attempt to reconcile the acts of an eldership with the teachings of Scripture.
In this post-modern world of tolerance and love it seems the only thing not tolerated is an appeal to open discussion of the Scripture. I am saddened that there is a generation that openly speaks of the divine call to "love" yet, they only love those that agree with their views. Perhaps it is time to realize the power of speaking the "truth in love."
A final thought, what would happen if the anger and impatience you have shown toward Mr. McAlister were directed towards those whose actions created this paradigm shift in leadership at RHCC?
I for one have been unable to make up my mind about Deaconess in the New Testament but would hope that before one draws a conclusion on what the scriptures say that they visit with some Greek Scholars. My minister is a Greek Scholar and I can see why a church might appoint Deaconess but never to do away with Deacons. I can also see not causing strife that might affect someone elses Soul. I was going to visit RHCC this weekend while I am on vacation but what really bothers me about this hole ordeal is the hateful tone some members have and the fact that an Elder really has only one major responsibility that God will hold him responsible for and that is the very Soul's of his Sheep. Believe it or not others are affected by what both sides are doing. I for one believe I will visit a different church just because I want to be able to worship this Sunday without thinking about this situation that is going on.
I think it's important in life to learn from the mistakes of others, but it's also good, spiritually speaking, to find out some things for yourself. Though I don't know Mr. Alister, some of his comments are "interesting"! If you would be distracted by worshipping at RHCC or be distracting, I think it would be best to visit another congregation. Although RHCC is a great place and God is doing good things there, it's not for everyone! With that many people, you've got to expect some to be "different"...to say the least! One last thing to note...1 Tim 5:19 "Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses." By the way, I'm pretty sure Paul meant a reliable 2 or 3! Keep studying God's word.
It saddens my heart to hear of the misconduct at Richland Hills. I am a new member at Handley church of Christ. I am 13 years old, and am the only person in my family that is of the church. I ask that you would pray for me. Please call me, Bro McAlister, at 817 446 0955. Or visit Handley one Sunday of Wednesday for service. You can mail me by adress of 2737 Muse Street, Fort Worth Texas, 76112. I am proud of your knowledge of the Lord's Way/Word.Please visit us at Handley. If you haven't found a congregation yet, please visit mine, we have 3 good. capable elders that rule over oour congragation. Bu, again, please contact me Brother!
God Bless You,
Brother Broderick Lee Greer, 13, Handley C of C
I am personally on the side of having deacons, but no matter what side I'm on, I am very disappointed in the way you are going about this. All I want to submit to you is for you to think of where this message board is...the World Wide Web. Anybody can read this, members of the church, and those who are totally against the church. If a person stumbled upon this message board, as I did, I highly doubt they would consider becoming a member of the Church of Christ. Even though I agree with the gentleman about deacons being essential, I am wondering if there is a better way of going about this. Our mission as individual Christians SHOULD be to simply and ONLY "seek and save the lost." Again, even though the topic is something I feel strongly about, the language and lack of respect in this message board could and will hinder someone coming to the Church, and is not a good tool for soul winning.
Follow only that one command? hum... Are you asking me to disobey God's other commandments? Am I to ignore his commandment to admonish those that are disobeying his commands or teaching false truth?
Remember, false teachings are being spread by the WWW to billions every day. How can you combat false teachings without addressing it on the same public platform? In the old days, it was large debates between preachers. They were very much like what you see here. They were argumentative, heated at times, and very blunt. It didn't stop Church growth then and it won't now. In fact, Church growth boomed during that time frame.
Paul and the Apostles dealt with these same issues during their time - with large groups of people in attendance. You aren't criticizing them. The early church elders (taught by Paul and John) actually wrote Apologies against philosphers for public review. They were very scathing, blunt and passionate. Paul's letters are quite blunt and he would be considered a "legalist" and "unChristian" by today's church standards. Christ wasn't exactly subtle when he threw over the tables in the temple. Standing up for your beliefs isn't going to make most people happy. Passion and commitment can be mistaken for anger, but they are not the same!
Remember, Jesus warned us we would lose friends and family for standing firm in our belief. He also reminded us that false teachers would cause problems in the Church.
So, are you still asking me to turn away from some of God's commands? Am I to allow the false preachers/teachers to continue their lies and just feel the love instead? Is allowing others to be led astray really love?
I am so sorry about the confict at RHCC.I know how shocked you were to realize this could go on in the body of Christ. we are going through similar disregard for obedience for the Word of God here in N.C.
There are churches that are letting false teachers continue in the pulpit. It is a grevious thing and some of our members have had to break ties with these groups that are disregarding God's word.My heart goes out to you and your wife. I do hope that you have found a place to worship that puts priority on the truth of Gods word.
Continue to speak up for the truth.God bless.Kaye
This guy is so funny. I would like to know how many people attend his congregation. I suspect they have run off nearly everyone! He says that "the name" says it all. The TOWN is called Richland Hills! Money and instruments have nothing to do with each other. I guess this is just one more example of the "concerned" who have no clue about what is going on there, much less what God is doing there! It's so amazing that websites like this one and www.piney.com waste so much time and money putting trash on the internet and then use that trash to belly ache about how others waste time and money! With parents like these, how could our kids do anything better than school shootings, drugs and the like.
This web site is not part of or approved by any Church!
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
They used secrecy, covert planning, and outside sources to scheme and
to change the format and direction of the Madison Church of Christ.
The Elders knew that the membership would never approve such a plan.
Using the tools of the "Community Church Movement"(consultants, books,
seminars, meetings,planters,seeders) they slowly started initiating change
so it was never noticed by the members until it was too late.....
At the heart of the plan was the fact that old members were going to
be driven off so new techniques could be used to go out and reach the unchurched
through new "Contemporary Holy Entertainment" methods developed by the
"Community Church Movement"
Old members had to be kept on board long enough to get their plans ready,
or the funds would not be there to pay for the new building. So by the
plans very nature, it had to be secret.
The church had no plan in effect to renew or approve elders. There was
never any need. The elders had always been "as approved by God". 10 of the last
15 elders would begin to shed some doubt on that.
The Elders did not even need a majority at first, because some of the
elders went along unwittingly.
This edition starts shortly after some of the members begin to smell
something strange in January 2001. Later editions may go back and fill
in some of the timeline.
To even start to understand whats happening here, you must read the
background materials in the first of the book.
This is only the first edition, and not the end. New editions will be
printed as needed. To keep abreast of current changes, please visit our
web site; http://www.concernedmembers.com/madison
Here is the list of players;
5 Godly Elders
10 Not so Godly Elders
120 "Deacons" (allegiance unknown)
2,800 - 4,000 church "members"
2 "teners" (people who have publicly confessed to have broken all ten
Unknown number of "sinners" (This is what the 10 elders call us.)
Unknown number of "demons" (Flying everywhere, to many to count)