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Donnie Cruz
(Login Donnie.Cruz)

Ray, your thoughts on the survey results?

June 6 2008, 12:34 AM 


You brought up 3 issues in response to my earlier post regarding “the survey and the FCCC website:

  • The accusation that it is NOT “Christ-like e.g., to question the congregation’s eldership’s goals and objectives for the church—one of which is already obvious: restructuring the body of Christ in the locality. An example of this is the “experimentation”—let’s see, not necessarily what God authorizes, but what some members would like to experience with the use of inanimate and lifeless musical machines in the assembly. Why that process is considered restructuring? Because it has not been there in the congregation and in the brotherhood all along; the New Testament teaches to “let the word of Christ dwell in us richly, teaching and admonishing one another” in singing. Apparently, the musical machines are incapable of “teaching and adnominishing.”

    Currently, the leadership is having its members experience the “Boiling Frog Syndrome.” The illustration of the point “that moving too recklessly and aggressively may leave one with an empty pot, but traversing a steadier course of more gradual change is much more likely to bring about the desired result.” To further simplify:

      ”The frog’s body temperature follows its surroundings. If you put the frog directly in boiling water, it will sense the heat immediately and jump out. But when you heat the water slowly, the frog keeps adjusting to the rising temperature. When the heat is too much for the frog to take, it is too late. The frog collapses and dies.”

    Ray, you can avoid the pervasive issue all you want, but you should know that the brotherhood is keenly noticing the directives coming from Rick Atchley, Max Lucado, Ronnie Norman, et al.

  • You claim that I “erroneously stated” the following:

      Why not simply teach what the New Testament plainly teaches that there is no forgiveness of sins in Christ’s blood without FIRST being “BURIED WITH CHRIST in baptism and RESURRECTED (RISEN) WITH HIM” to begin newness of life? Rather than give the impression as the Baptists believe and teach that baptism is a form of obedience AFTER one has already been forgiven of sins and become a Christian? [While I realize that longtime members of FCCC know the truth better than what the website suggests, nonetheless, it is deceptive on the part of the leadership to proclaim such a message of salvation.] If I am wrong by making that assumption, then the leaders need to make the message plain and scriptural.

    So, mentioning what the “Baptists believe and teach” is repulsive to you? Sorry, but you probably should have learned by now that when a Baptist or the FCCC website says that “baptism is clearly commanded as part of the process of accepting Christ as Lord and Savior,” non-members would automatically perceive that one is SAVED (sins are forgiven) when he “accepts Jesus Christ as his personal Savior.”

    Ray, the site’s text that I quoted in particular needs to be revised and to reflect what the New Testament teaches about baptism. The particular text also needs to reflect whatever and wherever else the website teaches about baptism that agrees with the New Testament. Remember when I said, “ If I am wrong by making that assumption, then the leaders need to make the message plain and scriptural.” Simply, that baptism is designed FOR or UNTO [for, so that, in order that, to, TOWARD] the forgiveness of sins in the Savior’s blood. It is not good enough to state that baptism is by immersion and is commanded (which the Baptist and other faiths teach also) without appending the truth that it is for the purpose of having sins remitted in His blood (and the Baptist and other faiths do not teach such purpose).

    Ray, in case you’re still confused as to which particular text regarding baptism I’ve been referring to, please follow this link: (a) NEW TO FCCC, then (b) MEMBERSHIP. The middle paragraph states [with emphases by d.c.]:

      We ask of our members only what scripture asks of church members: faith in Jesus Christ as Lord & Savior, love for one another, a willingness to follow Christ’s teachings, and Christian baptism (Matthew 28:18-20). At First Colony, we practice baptism by immersion and if you have never been immersed in baptism as a believer before, you will get the opportunity to do so.

    This message is addressed to those who are “new to FCCC.” And just what is “Christian baptism” when the Scripture teaches that one is baptized in order to become a Christian? Is “love for one another” a requisite to “Christian baptism”? Is baptism subsequent to one’s being already a Christian? Plus, in that text, the purpose of baptism is not specified to someone new [including someone from another faith] to FCCC—that is UNTO the forgiveness of sins.

  • With regard to the eldership, you were comparing apples and oranges. You missed my point completely. My point was not about the church’s “goal to have approximately 1 elder per 100 members.” It does not matter how many elders are/have been appointed. My point was simply about the “trend”—that almost 70% of the total number of elders has been chosen in the last 3 years, especially since Ronnie Norman was the first of the 70% to use the “office of a bishop.” Your own “centurion” concept does not compute in this regard.

Alright, you haven’t made comments about the survey. You haven’t justified the purpose or reason for the survey and why the leadership is even making an attempt to experiment with something that they should—of all folks—KNOW and be fully AWARE is POTENTIALLY RISKY, CONTROVERSIAL and DIVISIVE.

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(no login)

Survey and website thoughts

June 6 2008, 4:18 AM 

Donnie, you continue to either ignore what is on FCCC's website on baptism (even when I pointed out the clear Biblical teachings on baptism from the website), or willfully misrepresent what FCCC teaches. Josh in his post was quite correct - those who control this website are not interested in the truth but only in their opinions. If you truly wanted the truth, you would pesonally contact any of the ministers or elders by phone or face-to-face visit and ask questions to your heart's content. But you have made it plainly clear that that the truth is not what you are interested in

My thoughts on the survey. A little surpised - that roughtly an equal number are either all for or all against using instruments. What is not surprising is that overwhelmingly over 80% believe in what the scriptures teach - instruments are NOT a salvation issue.

In all of your posturing, you managed to get one thing correct - this is potentially risky and controversial issue (not risky nor controversial from a Biblical foundation, but from a human interpretation and emotional foundation). Which is why the elders have progressed so slowly, cautiously, wisely, and biblically on the matter.

From this point on, I will check back from time to time and see how quickly you and Ken will tire of FCCC and direct your attacks to another innocent congregation. I will not post again until you have proven your honesty and good faith through direct, voice (persnal visit or phone call) contact with the ministers and elders at First Colony, and made an honest Christian attempt to get to know them. When you prove you are acting in Christian honesty and good faith through such a personal contact with the leaders at First Colony, then the discussion might have a basis to continue. Until then, Ken's 100% track record of producing bad fruit will be plain for all to see, along with your unwavering support of his venom.

God bless you and be merciful to you and give you peace.

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Donnie Cruz
(Login Donnie.Cruz)

Re: Survey and website thoughts

June 6 2008, 3:24 PM 


Your latest post above covers two areas: (a) baptism and (b) brief comments on the survey. I think it is safe for me to conclude that you were finally able to see my point regarding the number of elders “appointed” in the last 3 years.

With regard to baptism, I am aware of [and I am NOT ignoring] the valid teachings on baptism in other portions of the website. But you are still unable to comprehend the impact of that particular text that I’ve pointed out to you a number of times already. It is misleading to inform newcomers [specifically those from other faiths] that “love for one another” and “Christian baptism” are on the same level, especially since there is NO MENTION that BAPTISM is necessary IN ORDER TO RECEIVE forgiveness of sins in His blood. Again, the expression “Christian baptism” is also misleading and redundant. Either: (1) the New Testament teaches that one is baptized in order to BECOME a Christian or (2) the Baptist and other faiths teach that one is baptized AFTER one has already BECOME a Christian. That needs to be clarified for the NEWCOMER’S sake.

Ray, if that portion of the webpage (NEW TO FCCC/MEMBERSHIP) is corrected to reflect the correct teaching on baptism, then, I will not bring up baptism again.

With regard to the survey:

  • The questions were all about:

    1. “My preference … ”—NOT about God’s authority, approval or directive
    2. “I enjoy … ”—NOT about God’s authority, approval or directive
    3. “I can allow … ”—NOT about God’s authority, approval or directive
    4. “My choice … ”—NOT about God’s authority, approval or directive

  • Lacy Spears, elder and Chairman, pointed out the “date preference” for starting the “instrumental service” without FIRST asking God for His authority, approval, directive or counsel.

  • Lacy Spears, elder and Chairman, brought up—“Your elders will now begin a period of prayer and contemplation”—without FIRST asking God for His authority, approval, directive or counsel.

  • Lacy Spears, elder and Chairman, is “admonishing” (Colossians 3:16) the members and fellow elders to heed to “the teachings of Ronnie Norman [Senior Minister and fellow elder] and Rick Atchley [of ‘instrumental’ Richland Hills (Christian) Church and Ronnie’s mentor]”—RATHER THAN to the apostle Paul’s teachings to the Colossian and Ephesian churches.

  • Lacy Spears, elder and Chairman, is just now wishing and hoping for “our God continue to bless us as we aim to please Him in all things

Again, this thread is not about questioning the faith of our brothers and sisters in Christ at First Colony. Neither it is about the sincerity of the leaders. It is about how the leadership (eldership) is MISLEADING or MIS-shepherding the flock at First Colony.

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Ken Sublett
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Lynn Anderson: Christianity or New Paganism

June 7 2008, 1:04 PM 

Lynn Anderson claims to tell people how to NAVIGATE the winds of change but in fact he has been the major blower of a hot wind from the East. He claims that he got his "Change Agent" material from a commercial change agent specialists. If an employer PAYS you to manufacture a product then he has the right to try to make you work more effectively. However, the workers pay the preacher to be BIBLE TEACHER ONLY and he gets no right to MANIPULATE you into being more productive knowing that his WAGE is often a "percentage of the take" or depends on how many contributers to the UNLAWFUL collection plate to fund an UNLAWFUL staff infection.

It comes as no surprise that Lynn Anderson and Ronnie Norman have been working together to NAVIGATE a church into being a pagan worship center. The verbal boast is that they have used gradualism knowing that something vile and violent can be both sold and FORCED. The pity is that all of those intending to RESTRUCTURE all churches of Christ have grown WITHOUT instruments. Isn't it to be wondered why they feel the need for MUSIC to make them grow?

Argue all you will, the Bible is twisted from Genesis to Revelation along with all of church history to turn the universal "music is violence to shut the mouth of the sacrificial victim" into God's direct command to DO IT TO YOU. Here are some notes from Lynn Anderson and the witchcraft parallels:

This other fact of history proves that music is the MARK of an institute which is in a FAILURE MODE but because of the CLOSED system the contributors do not know the facts. I would ask real loud! Getting in over your head is normally made WORSE when you chase off the older members.

[... page size adjusted ]

This message has been edited by Donnie.Cruz from IP address on Jun 7, 2008 3:29 PM

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(Login Donnie.Cruz)


June 8 2008, 12:16 PM 

This is a copy of a probably misplaced post from another thread: “West 7th Street Church, Columbia, TN”:

Author: Rancher
IP Address:
Date: June 8 2008, 9:22 AM
Subject: “Hypocrites”


    “I am a member of First Colony. This is an incredibly loving and Christ serving church. Ronnie Norman is an amazing preacher, teacher and leader. What I am reading concerning my church and my preacher gives me the chills. It is closed minded, hypocritical people like you that have given the Church of Christ such a bad name. The Church of Christ is a relatively new denomination as compared to others. Who do you think you are that you can make such judgemental statements. Come meet Ronnie. Get to know this gentle man who has lead so many to Christ and to service in Christ's name. Jesus wants all of us to believe in Him and to spread his gospel. Whether or not we have musical instruments isn't going to condemn or save us. Our choosing Christ is what saves us. We need to tear down the walls between denominations and get to the bottom line. Belief in Jesus Christ!

    “The number of people that have been saved through this church and through the missionaries that it has supported and the number of churches they have started speaks for itself. Look at the darkness that is in you for your critical outlook on those that are actuallly doing what the Lord directed us to do. Matthew 28:18-20. May God bless you and forgive you.”


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Ken Sublett
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Sorry, Jesus said hypocrites are speakers and musicians.

June 8 2008, 4:16 PM 

For your information the Church of Christ has existed under that name in every period of Church history. It was the Church of Christ much later called catholic who "added music because it was common to all pagan cults." However, none was so vile as to use the organ to accompany singing which was quickly taken over by clergy precenters or a "worship team" which is called "the oldesty heresy largely pervading the church." The fact that from Genesis to Revelation and by all historic scholars music is considered Satanic because it silences the voice and direct commands of Jesus, proves that those now adding instruments are THE EXCEPTION to the rule. Adding music proves that people do not know that Jesus continued the "church in the wilderness" as synagogue or school of the Bible: it excluded both vocal and instrumental "rejoicing."

ALL assemblies of the common people was ONLY for instruction and you don't MAKE MUSIC and BREAK DOWN WALLS when as the Spirit OF Christ the synagogue was to QUARANTINE the assembly FROM the pagan, musical rituals from Babylon.

Miqra (h4744) mik-raw'; from 7121; something called out, i. e. a public meeting (the act, the persons, or the place); also a rehearsal: - assembly, calling, convocation, reading.

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading. Ne.8:8

And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence. Is.4:5

Here is what is outlawed because all such sounds create PANIC:

Ruwa (h7321) roo-ah'; a prim. root; to mar (espec. by breaking); fig. to split the ears (with sound), i. e. shout for alarm or joy: - blow an alarm, cry (alarm, aloud, out), destroy, make a joyful noise, smart, shout (for joy), sound an alarm, triumph.

The synangogue which existed as the Church of Christ even in the wilderness since it was established by the Spirit of Christ never had "a praise service." Just direct command and common sense when the ONLY rationale is to teach.

Now, Ronnie Norman has spent two decades collecting a church under the name of the Church of Christ. By claiming to be consistent with that "restoration" and consistent with direct commands by Paul and hsitoric practices they defined CHURCH as "a school of Christ" and WORSHIP as "reading and musing the Word of God."

In Romans that direct command is to speak THAT WHICH IS WRITTEN. Where they were afflicted with singing (a sorcery word) Paul commanded that they use one mind and one mouth and use "that which is written" to teach, glorify God who wrote it, comfort with scripture and KEEP THE UNITY. Where they were afflicted with "prophesiers" which defines singing and playing instruments to bring on "excitement" Peter commanded that they use THE PROPHETS until "the day star arises in their heart."

Denominations including the Christian church BUILT the wall by adding instruments (legal machines) and those who REFUSED to ADD that which they had never used for 1850 years did not change. That was based on the universal documentary evidence that MUSIC is actually the MARK of someone trying to silence the Word of God. Isaiah 5 isa good example of people who turned their religious meetings FROM the Word to "wine, women and music" they INVITED God to BREAK DOWN THE WALLS and the massses who swarmed in are called the BEAST. They will repay--have repayed--your wanting to tear down what God built by, as in Isaiah 5, eating up all of your GRAPES.

Someone has convinced you to do EXACTLY what the Spirit of Christ commanded you NOT to do. The SABBATH meant REST. Jesus removed the laded burden (music) to give us rest and the word is PAUO. Isaiah 55 prophesied Messiah and the FREE waer of the Word. In Isaiah 58 the Spirit OF Christ defines the nature of the Christian REST. The INSTRUMENTS are always a warning or MARK:

Is. 58:1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

Note the description of a hypocrite: Jesus pointed to Ezekiel 33 to include slick speakers, singers and instrument players.

Is. 58:2 Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.

Is. 58:3 Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.
Is. 58:4 Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.
Is. 58:5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?
Is. 58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
Is. 58:7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

Is. 58:8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.
Is. 58:9 Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
Is. 58:10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:
Is. 58:11 And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

Is. 58:12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

Is. 58:13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure [music in Rom 15] on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him,
not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

Is. 58:14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

THERE ARE TWO THREADS one leading to destruction under the Kings and Clergy.
The other SPIRITUAL thread is ONLY defined by the prophets by the Spirit OF Christ.

I cannot tell you why Ronnie Norman has chosen the THREAD that led israel into destruction when the ENEMY breaks down the walls (whatever you think). I can tell you that the examples he used and those used by his associates turn ALL of the "instrument passages" into very bad lies. What should be troubling is that ALL of those proof texts to used PSALLO for the first time in 1878 as AUTHORITY for instruments ALL point to older males plucking their harps to seduce younger males.

It sounds like you have had no trouble attracting the INSTRUMENTALISTS without instruments? Ronnie boasts about NOT teaching the position of the movement he CLAIMS to attract faithful members of the Church of Chrsit forever. He also boasts about USING instruments in other venues. Someone suggested that they did that stealth-like in the Bible classes?

Whatever we think about people, to a TRUE DISCIPLE OF CHRIST that will never let it trump the Word of Christ: and Jesus called the religious and musical performers the HYPOCRITES. The MEANING of a hypocrite is a slick speaker and music maker.

We have told you the absolute truth and WE become the ScapeGoat. Personal bonding should never come between one and Christ and His Words: He cast out the musical minstrels like dung.

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Ken Sublett
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Choose ye this day whom you will serve and defend!

June 10 2008, 7:07 PM 

FC201: The Maturity Class
Prerequisite: FC101
FC201 is Step 2 in First Colony's Spiritual Life track. During our 5 weeks together, we will focus on the four basic habits every Christian needs to grow to spiritual maturity: time in God's word, prayer, tithing and fellowship. Class takes place at the building on Sunday mornings at 9:45 a.m.

Doesn't this sound like indoctrination? I can tell you flat out that any person who claims to be a Christian and teaches TITHING is lying and trying to cheat those they are supposed to MINISTER TO.

The TITHE was like Income Tax. A tithe is 1/10 of the INCREASE or PROFIT which was RENT paid only by those who had received (from the tribe) a FREE farm, flock or orchard: this would probably include a house. IF you were LOANED one of those farms then YOU paid a tithe on your INCREASE. Furthermore, you paid it only YEARLY. Amos condemnes Israel for their often tithings (stealing from the poor to serve the rich)

Furthermore, you paid to the TRIBE of Levi 1/10 of your INCREASE only 3 out of a 7 year cycle.

This was FOOD ONLY to provide the FOOD ONLY to the tribe of Levi who took care of many civil services including warfare.

The Tribe gave the priests only 1/10 of this FOOD ONLY to be consumed when on a rotating basis as the TEMPLE ONLY because they could not leave the premises.

3 other tithes were shared with the poor but not paid to the tribe of Levi. There was NO tithe on the 7th year because there was no PROFIT that year.

That means that to supply FOOD ONLY to the priests and animals for sacrifice you paid 1/10 of the 3/7ths of the INCREASE of the food only to the work of SACRIFICING for the NATIONAL government.

If you were a shoe maker then you bought the leather and YOU suppled the labor and you kept ALL of the profit and never tithed from WAGES.

No Jew paid the tithe OUTSIDE of Canaan and modern Jews involved in FOOD PRODUCTION may or not give or burn 1% of their food only because there is NO LEVITICAL PRIESTHOODS living AT the temple where they need food when ON DUTY ONLY.

There is NO LAW of giving for Christians because "Jesus paid it all." There is NO Law of Giving for the Church of Christ. When you LAY BY HIM you LAY BY HIM or by yourself so that YOU have to give ALMS ONLY to those who ask. There is no LAW because Paul said that it was NOT a command.

Therefore, YOU have been taken captive and are Slaves of the WatchTower.

No church in history every passed the plate:

NIV: On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. 1 Corinthians 16:2NIV

NAS: On the first day of every week let each one of you put aside and save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come. 1 Corinthians 16:2NAS

NKJV: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. 1 Corinthians16:2

NEV: Every Sunday each of you is to put aside and keep by him a sum in proportion to his gains, so that there may be no collecting when I come. (New English Bible New Testament).

Neander: But Paul, if we examine his language closely, says no more than this: that every one should lay by in his own house on the first day of the week, whatever he was able to save.

This certainly might mean, that every one should bring with him the sum he had saved to the meeting of the church, that thus the individual contributions might be collected together, and be ready for Paul as soon as he came.

But this would be making a gratuitous supposition, not at all required by the connexion of the passage.

We may fairly understand the whole passage to mean, that every one on the first day of the week should lay aside what he could spare, so that when Paul came, every one might be prepared with the total of the sum laid by, and then by pulling the sums together, the collection of the whole church would be at once made." Dr. Augustus Neander, in his "History of the Training and Planting of the Christian Church,"

Jesus commanded ALMS from out hand to the hand of the poor: Alms are not obligations:

Didache 1:5 Give to every one that asketh of thee, and ask not again;
for the Father wishes that from his own gifts there should be given to all.
Blessed is he who giveth according to the commandment, for he is free from guilt;
but woe unto him that receiveth.
For if a man receive being in need, he shall be free from guilt;

but he who receiveth when not in need, shall pay a penalty as to why he received and for what purpose; and when he is in tribulation he shall be examined concerning the things that he has done, and shall not depart thence until he has paid the last farthing.

Didache 1:6 For of a truth it has been said on these matters, let thy almsgiving abide in thy hands until thou knowest to whom thou hast given.

Part of the WELLFARE MENTALITY is that if you out of a free heart give and give and give and support the elders without grumbling and growling the time WILL come when they understand your liberality as WEAKNESS and jump on you like wolves and fleece you, eat your flesh and craunch your bones." Your "joint tenure" then becomes a FULL BLOWN CULT and you may have been so flattered that you are unable to resist.

The fact still remains: when Paul warned about the elders becoming WOLVES he was pointing directly to some unseen influence which is not pretty but shameful.

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Rick Atchley is not someone to follow!

June 16 2008, 5:22 PM 

The Letter from the First Colony Church of Christ Elder Chairman recommended hearing the teachings of Rich Atchley and Ronnie Norman. What exactly is being recommended to know about the teaching of these two men? There is a very revealing situation in which Mr. Atchley shows to all his inner being. An excerpt from a sermon presented by Rick Atchley is in an article by Dr. Evan’s which is attached below. Dr. Evans makes Godly points through out this article concerning the lesson presented by Rick Atchley.
Rick Atchley has divided the Richland Hills congregation into IM and non IM services, he has separated his liberal views from the conservative view (basically chased those members off) and has tried to drive a wedge between black and white members of the churches of Christ. Rick Atchley may speak of unity in a passionate sermon, yet there is a wake of chaos in everything he has done. And the elders hold this man as the pattern for the future of the First Colony church of Christ?

By Jack Evans, Sr.
To understand and appreciate this treatise on the above subject, one must be familiar with the Internet and written dialogue between this writer and Rich Atchley, minister of the North Richland Hills Church of Christ, which is a suburb of Fort Worth, Texas. The dialogue was precipitated when, on January 28, 2004, Rick Atchley preached a sermon at his congregation titled “Reconciliation to Reckon With,” in which he stated that it was his dream to pursue racial reconciliation with “the African-American community in Tarrant County,” the county in which his congregation is located. This “dream” would be a noble idea, were it not wrapped in a shroud of subliminal condescension and blatant racism itself, as well as that of using the idea as a ploy to denigrate the New Testament church as revealed in the Bible and recruit as many young African-American “insurgents” to assist him through his own concoction of a “Da Vinci Code.” And sadly enough, there are a few, very few, African-American young men who, unwittingly, maybe, have made themselves available to be used by this man whose ultimate purpose is to change the doctrine of the body of Christ. And to further scrutinize the full scope of this dichotomy between Rick Atchley and this writer, go to ; You will note in reading that dialogue that this writer, after giving a critical review or exposé, dated March 19, 2004, of Rick’s sermon of January 28 of that year, issued the invitation to him to have a public dialogue regarding the doctrinal tenets on which we differ, but he never accepted that invitation.
While stating in his sermon that his “dream” was that of “reconciliation” of the white and African-American people, which is sociology, ninety-five percent of his “dream” sermon was on how African-American churches of Christ differ from some white American churches of Christ in religious belief, which is theology. This writer wonders if Rick knows the difference. It is not that we differ in sociology, the equality of all human beings, based on a correct understanding of the U.S. Constitution; it is in the realm of theology, the immutable, absolute authority of Jesus Christ, where our differences come. One must embrace the correct theology first, and the sociology will automatically be resolved (Gal. 3:26-29). Therefore, Rick and his pied-piper followers, white and black, should concentrate in their forthcoming “retreat” on theology, which includes acceptance of the doctrine of Christ as revealed in the New Testament (Rom. 6:17-18; 2 Tim. 1:13; Jude 3). But it appears that they have a semantical problem with the word RECONCILE. This word means “to reunite” or “to bring together again.” Thus African-American and Anglo-Americans cannot be reconciled through man-made means, because they have never been conciliated on a racial basis. They have never been united on the basis of racial equality in this nation, and never will be, on the basis of man-made means. The only hope of true reconciliation is that all men be first reconciled TO GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST (2 Cor. 5:16-20; Eph. 2:16; Col. 3:15). And all of this is done in the one New Testament church, which is that “church-of-Christ-only-going-to-heaven-teaching” (1 Cor. 15:24-28; 2 Cor. 5:1-7; 1 Thess. 4:16-17), so strongly condemned by Rick Atchley in his “Reconciliation to Reckon With” sermon. To refresh your and Rick’s memory, I offer the following excerpts, verbatim, from Rick’s sermon:
Here’s my dream. The truth of the matter is, historically in churches of Christ our African-American congregations have struggled with a lot of the legalism and sectarianism that some of us knew growing up. THEY STILL DO. AFRICAN-AMERICAN CHURCHES STILL OFTEN PREACH ‘THE-CHURCH-OF-CHRIST-IS-THE-ONLY-ONE-GOING-TO-HEAVEN’ kind of sermons. IT GRIEVES ME TO SAY THAT, BUT IT IS TRUE. Here’s what grieves me more: the reason that’s true is because for decades the Christian schools of churches of Christ denied African-American young men to come study. THE PREACHERS IN THOSE CHURCHES DIDN’T GET GOOD THEOLOGICAL TRAINING. It was in my own lifetime that that changed. I remember when I first started preaching, a lot of the young black men that graduated from ACU with Bible degrees would come see me and say, ‘We don’t know what to do. We’ve learned to preach GRACE; the black churches won’t hire us, and the white churches won’t even talk to us. WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO?’ In Atlanta I got canceled by a black church. They said they wanted me to come because they had heard about people we were winning to Christ. And then the preacher called me up and said, ‘I hear you have a praise team. I hear you believe that people besides the church of Christ can go to heaven.’ And he canceled me, not because he wasn’t willing to listen, but because he was afraid of what his preaching peers would say. AND THIS IS THE CULTURE IN AFRICAN-AMERICAN CHURCHES FOR YEARS...BUT; THERE’S A NEW GENERATION OF YOUNG, AFRICAN-AMERICAN PREACHERS THAT WANT TO BREAK FREE FROM THAT. They have started meeting. They formed their own retreat. They are getting together. And they need encouragement; because in black churches of Christ if you stand up and preach some of the things that we have been preaching in this pulpit for thirty years, you can still get into a lot of trouble. They need encouragement. So, I am going to their next retreat to encourage them. And I am going to invite them to come in 2005 here to this church and be encouraged and know that they have a future. And when this church models to our fellowship that we believe that there can be a new day of freedom and grace, that explodes in African-American churches across America, it will make a statement that needs to be made.
You will note in the above diatribe about something that he least understands, Rick, in “a great white father” mode, states that he was going to help the “new generation of Young African-American preachers...break free from that,” not elucidating on what “that” meant. Was he speaking about their culture or their preaching the scripture? He also said that he was going to invite these young African-American preachers (some of whom are as old as he is or older) to come to his church in 2005 for a “retreat,” and to let them know that they have “a future.” What kind of “future” can Rick Atchley assure for these young men in the church of Christ? This would be analogous to Colonel Sanders’ assuring the chickens of a future. This writer considers this “retreat” as a socio-religious retreat from truth. Its primary, subtle purpose is to try to make inroads into the African-American churches of Christ with a false doctrine about “Christians in all denominations,” under the guise of “grace,” not mentioning that “grace and truth” are inseparable (John 1:17). But “they shall not pass!”
This “retreat” is scheduled to convene on August 26-27 at the North Richland Hills Church of Christ, hosted by Rick, one of the most virulent leaders of the change of doctrine (apostasy) in the churches of Christ, armed with the false teachings of Max Lucado, Rubel Shelley, and others of their doctrinal persuasion. And to make their purpose more palatable, this activity is titled “New Wineskins Retreat 2005,” which shows their misunderstanding of the new wineskins principle in the Bible referencing Old Testament and New Testament teachings. This writer, therefore, refers to the modern day “new wineskins” group simply as the “new coonskins,” both white and black. For Jesus was not dealing with human chronology in Matthew 9:17 in reference to “wineskins.” It is also this writer’s belief that some of these young African-American ministers have been caught up in this doctrinal change movement unaware of the real purpose of Rick and the other change agents with whom they are aligning themselves. It is hoped that such young men will soon realize this ploy and quickly disassociate themselves from those apostate change agents who are literally misusing some of them under the fallacious term of “progressive element of the churches of Christ.” If such young African-American men continue in doctrinal digression with the change agents, after ample admonition, they, too, must be “marked” and withdrawn from for teaching false doctrine and heresy (Rom. 16:17-18; Titus 3:10-11; 2 Thess. 3:6). For those young men are, unknowingly, limiting their ministry in the church of Christ, which concerns this writer, personally.
To further advance and disguise their true motives, and make them more acceptable to African-American young men unaware of their real purpose, the change agents are using the theme for this retreat this year, “Undoing Racism,” which any minority person wants to see done. And one would be prompted to ask, what is wrong with that theme? The answer is, nothing; it is a good theme. But Rick said at the beginning of his sermon on Reconciliation, that “ area I mentioned was with the African-American community in Tarrant County.” To do that, all Rick needs to do, having several thousand white members huddled together in the North Richland Hills congregation, an area with very few African-Americans living there, is to take maybe two thousand of his white members and go into the African-American community in Fort Worth, where the majority of the African-Americans live in Tarrant County, and bring them to Christ. And then some of them, maybe even Rick himself, could just move into that community (as well as into the Hispanic sections) and worship there with them, permanently, in a truly integrated church setting. Why must the minority race always acquiesce to the will and way of the majority race? The prominent question is, what has the ninety-eight percent white congregation of the North Richland Hills Church of Christ done to undo racism in the American community of Tarrant County in the last forty years, besides inviting a few “safe” African-American people over for membership in a “gilded cage.” With the exception of possibly one or two, even the African-American churches in Tarrant County know very little about the North Richland Hills Church of Christ, let alone anything about Rick Atchley, who seemingly has the “great white father complex.”
There is an eerie resemblance of the tactics of the white doctrinal change-agent leaders in churches of Christ and those moral change-agent leaders of the gay lifestyle in America. The similarity is this: the “gay rights” leaders try to connect the Civil Rights movement to the “gay rights and same sex marriages” movement in this country, when the two movements have no relationship whatever. Homosexuality is not a civil right; it is a perverted, moral wrong. Similarly, the doctrinal change agent leaders in churches of Christ try to connect their apostate teachings to racial equality, as has always been right there in the Bible. The apostates of today, unlike the old-line racists in this country of the 1800s and early 1900s, will use the Bible to “undo racism,” but will not use the Bible to “undo” denominationalism. “Consistency, thou art a jewel!” And like the “gay rights” leaders, who use the derogatory epithets like “homophobics” and “gay bashers,” the change agents among churches of Christ use epithets like “legalists, patternists, conservatives, sectarianism and ‘old-line church of Christism’,” just to name a few. But such ungodly tactics will not deter people who still believe the Bible and hold fast to its mandates in morality and doctrine (2 Tim. 1:13; 2:19; Titus 2:11-13).
In conclusion, since a part of the mission statement of the “new wineskins” is to preserve “ open atmosphere conducive for honest dialogue and strategic planning,” this writer requests to have such a public dialogue with Rick Atchley and any of this group, not on “racism,” which we have “talked to death,” and on which the Bible is very clear in condemning, but on the “principles” of the doctrine of Christ (Heb. 6:1) on which we disagree (Acts 15:1-2, 24). This writer awaits a response from Rick Atchley and/or anyone who supports his doctrinal stance.

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steve in h-town
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the truth

June 26 2008, 3:05 PM 

The traditionalists among us will never believe that the Richland Hills' and First Colony's of the world came to their current beliefs through good old fashioned Bible study. They believe that the only way churches like that could come to those beliefs is through "wolves in sheep's clothing." I don't know about you, but in the churches of Christ that I grew up in, we were taught that every Christian had the responsibility to read and study the Bible for themselves. We don't let the Pope tell us what it says. We don't let some preacher tell us what it says. I don't know how many times Acts 17:11 was quoted from the pulpit, telling us that "these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so" (notice that I used the King James Version for this scripture. I believe in becoming all things to all men, that I might by all means save some!). I was taught to read and study the Bible for myself. When I did, as I continue to do to this day, I began to see that the churches of Christ I grew up in didn't tell me the whole story. When I read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, I began to see that the actions and attitudes of my fellowship, which claimed to have the truth, lined up more with the Pharisees and teachers of the law than with Jesus Christ. The Pharisees' doctrine allowed them to focus on doctrinal correctness while treating others with contempt and downright ugliness. It still does, and it is repulsive. Jesus said in Matthew 23:25-26, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and of excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also." If we look good on the outside but are rotting on the inside, what good is it? If we claim to have the truth yet treat brethren like dirt, what's the point? While searching for verses for a one on one Bible study to lead someone to Christ, I came across John 17:3, where Jesus prays, "Now this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." This brought to mind another verse I had heard preached many times, where Jesus said in Matthew 7:23, "And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Jesus is saying that I can do all kinds of religious things, but if I don't know Him, it's all a waste of time. When we profess to possess the truth, and yet treat one another with contempt, we can't say with a straight face that we know Him. In fact, it is those traditionalists among us who are wolves in sheep's clothing. They are the ones working alongside the evil one to steal, kill, and destroy our people with legalism and judgment. It was Jesus who came that we "might have life, and have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). Richland Hills and First Colony are reaching so many people because they are offering life, plain and simple. Our traditional, legalistic churches continue to shrink, not because people can't handle the truth, but because they can't handle the lies of those who claim to have the truth, but use it as an excuse to steal, kill, and destroy the life that Jesus came to bring. The legalists among us are literally choking the life out of our people. Many who grew up in churches of Christ are like me. We did as we were taught. We are reading and studying the Bible for ourselves. As a result, we will no longer side with the Pharisees and teachers of the law. We're going to side with Jesus, wherever that leads us.

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(no login)

question about impact on the body.

July 8 2008, 3:06 PM 

I'm not disrespecting the flow of argument, it's just the same argument is made time after time, instance after instance on thread after thread with passion from other sides. So please don't think I'm changing the subject to avoid jumping in. I can get both sides looking through years of commentary here.

I used to live in Houston and was a member at Westbury when some members living in Sugarland started First Colony. I have lost track of it's impact, size and growth over the past 20 years, especially as compared to where the church of Christ stands at other Houston congregations. Houston, being a city of 7 million or so, as well as Dallas, should and probably are stand out cities of opportunity within the brotherhood.

My question is what is the current membership of First Colony? Approximately how many baptisms a year are you having? Is it still growing and was the decision in part an effort to keep some members who were vocal?

And finally, even tho it's probably none of my business, how has the overall membership reacted and handled this? Is the only arguing on this website, or is the leadership being called to put out fires:has the 3rd service been accepted overall or is it an isolated group.

With the fact that several bodies have gone this direction we might assume more are considering it and I'm taken that each time this comes up, the transition seem less heated and more accepted. I'm not trying to set this up for continual judging of this body but only as a curiosity of where the body is going.
Thank you, if anybody at First Colony is still reading these posts and wants to respond.

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(no login)

Re: question about impact on the body.

December 1 2008, 11:55 AM 

The music service will begin the first of Feb. 2008. We are dropping the third service and going to two services. There seems to be several families leaving the 25th of January, unless there is a change. Alot of people have quit giving their contribution and are looking for good christian work to make a yearly contribution. I think there is alot of just bitter people sitting in the pews just unhappy with all that is going on but do nothing, like leaving or otherwise. Several Elders have voiced their opposition to the changes, but there is not a movement to do anything. Elders called each family to see if they were having a problem, but the elders that called did not know the families they were talking to, so there was not much of a response. Many people are at first colony because of the nice building. Some of the elders are very cold and make great businessmen, but not the best elders. And the minister looks like he has aged tremendously. In a nut shell that is our church.

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(no login)


December 3 2008, 8:50 AM 

I think you mean 2009. The switch to two service has nothing to do with the inclusion of instruments for the latter service. The new facility will be sufficiently large enough to onlyu requires two services, and the elders made the decision to move to only two sooner rather than wait until reuired to later. There may be some leaving - I know of one who is considering it. However, except for that one family, all those I know who do not prefer the Instrumental Service are switching to the first, acapella service (myself included). Your "information" about the contributions is not substantiated by the records - we are running way ahead of the budget. So if some contribution are dropping off, they are more than being made up by others.

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(no login)

Additional correction

December 3 2008, 12:05 PM 

I am not sure where anonymous got their information on the elders from. I know every single elder personally, some very well. The decision on IM was unanimous. All of the elders are very Godly men, and many were elders elsewhere before they came to First Colony (BTW - has our moderator taken the time to personally contact even one elder at Frist Colony?). None of the elders are "cold business men" so I suspect "anonymous" just doesn't get along with too many. And the elders do listen to the voices of the congregation - an announcement was made several months ago regarding one activity at First Colony, and because of congregational feedback was recently decided against persuing (and no - if you are not a member, it is none of your business what the annoncement was about). "Anonymous" many think they are descibing First Colony in a "nut shell" but I propose that their nut shell is cracked and not representative at all of FCCC.

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(no login)

This is what being a Church of Christ is all about

January 4 2009, 11:39 AM 

From our local newspaper.

Even those who do not follow Christ may read the story of how a Church of Christ acts as the Body of Christ, and thus give glory to God.

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(no login)

Money won't forgive a fatal sin!

January 4 2009, 6:02 PM 

That's wonderful: it does help if you can do ethnic cleansing and get a new batch of people to give the money?
However, I personally gave more than that to my local congregation before I caught on to the fact that all of the expansion was to NORMANIZE the church and divert the money.

My guess is that the mission church will be PAGANIZED by adding instruments? Or at least the heresy of a Praise Team?

You are still enabling a man and HIS elders who have lied about every "music" passage in the Bible and done EXACTLY what is defined as the EVIL THREAD of the King, kingdom, priests and Levitical (Dionysus) musicians.

At the same time Bible 101a would prove to the honest that the SPIRITUAL THREAD by the Spirit of Christ through the PROPHETS quite clearly and most of the Bible in PARABLES to fool the fools (Matt 13).

The fact in the Bible, the Book of Enoch and most recorded history is that MUSIC is the MARK which tells God to "shut your face." In Revelation 17 this is the MARK of the returning Babylon mother of harlots, using the lusted after fruits, as speakers, singers and instrument players John called SORCERERS. That probably means that once you have appropriated the guilt by being an ENABLER you will never be able to read BLACK text on BROWN paper again.

I have just done another RETAKE of King Solomon's Temple which the Rormanites use for authority -- for the worship of the starry hosts (Stars have always meant entertainers)

This will prove that by falling from grace and back under the TEMPLE THREAD you have manifested the Babylon Harlot and boasted about it to the watching world.

As an outake I have done Revelation 22 where the Alpha and Omega does another of MANY comparisons between the PAGAN THREAD and the EKKLESIA which is a school of the Words of God in Christ--ONLY.

This is a rough cut but you can click on the PRE PREACHER evidence so that even if, as in Enoch, you have fallen and will never get back up, you will have been warned.

The LOCUSTS in the Book of Revelation are the MUSES of Apollo, Abaddon or Apollyon the SERVCE of the Levites as did John in Revelation warned you about. As the SORCERERS the Locusts (musicians) have the driven purpose to DRIVE OUT the faithful members with the name of Christ on their forehead from those MARKED or STUNG by the muses with their scorpion tails. Therefore, if the Bible has any meaning then the music was the WAY OF ESCAPE for the faithful and the unfaithful will sing, clap and rejoice in the musical captivity--music DOES sting the soul as a all of history knew. Therefore, while youare waiting for "bus" you might want to read The Lies which you have swallowed like a juicy worm: as kids we used Dough Ball$ to catch the $UCKER$.

Sad, Sad that bitter Wail (praise song), too late but lost. In the words of John Calvin and the musical disturbers, a heresy has no "statute of limitations" so some things cannot be erased by time or money.

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(no login)

Let the readers decide

January 4 2009, 8:50 PM 

Which action declares the the Christian, spirit filled life? Ken's attacks on a gift to God, or the humble and selfless donation and service of the Ugandan church and of First Colony Church of Christ?

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Re: Let the readers decide

January 5 2009, 11:01 AM 

I agree the readers should appreciate the wonderful gift of $21.96. What a wonderful expression of Christianity! The readers should also know that the first colony church is spending 9 million on facilities for comfort, which includes a bell tower(?). The amount spent on these facilities could feed the entire nation of Uganda for quite a while. Yet the group Ray states time and time again that, they are on the right track and are so much more loving than most, is building a monument for what, the hungry, God or the uncomfortble? Ray your comments are so sactimonious, are your comments an example of the people at first colony?

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(no login)

You tell us

January 5 2009, 3:49 PM 

Anonymous, since you have the same IP address as the poster who got so much wrong about the spirit of the members, the type of people the elders are, Ronnie's appearance, and the budget - you tell us. We know it will be wrong.

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Ken Sublett
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January 6 2009, 10:09 PM 

History makes it clear that there has been a long frog boiling effort to shift out the church of Christ people and shift in those who will bow when the leader pipes. Nevertheless, it seems you must have had a large number leave when the die was cast.

Therefore, would it be too much to ask what has happened to the numbers since the great falling away? Most churches have no problems posting their attendance and contribution. That would be nice of someone.

I have done some additions to my post on Ronnie Norman: the first review was just to discuss the Shepherding Movement led by Lynn Anderson which is the Old Crossroads or IOCC system of mind and body control.

I listened to Ronnie's 'sermon' and took notes and have responded to just a few as todays response to the NACC proof text.

I found some good stuff that fits Revelation 17 and the mother harlot of Babylon who uses the lusted after fruits as speakers, singers and instrument players called sorcerers (Rev 18) which John says have their place in the lake of fire along with the liars. I thought it interesting that since the curse of the Law was Dionysus worship that

"dionysus's worship is thus established by the simple means of killing the opposition. It has been suggested that every tragic hero who suffers and dies on stage at the Dionysia, the great dramatic festival at Athens (of the South?), is in fact dionysus himself, being killed."

In the Eleusian mysteries, the wine was not noted for its alcohol but for drugs perhaps from fermented barley or from mushrooms used to bring on the exhilaration. Of the priest, it is said that:

"As he performed the service, he intoned ancient chants in a falsetto voice, for his role in the Mystery was asexual, a male who had sacrificed his gender to the Great Goddess.

The Levites (Levius or Dionysus ministers) also sang in a falsetto style (a cappella), and their instruments, dress and performance style was effeminate.

I have added some material to the Nadab and Abihu episode which ignorant people love to make fun of but as a result of their doing about 5 things not commanded they were burned up and God IMPOSED the scapegoat or the worship of Azazel or the devil who TAUGHT mankind how to make music and all of their friends-male and female.

Why doubt it: because of musical idolatry at Mount Sinai God turned them over to worship the starry host (Acts 7) and the cursed Temple was dedicated to the worship of the stars according to Amos and the rest of the PROPHETS: the Scribes Ronnie is trusting in do NOT speak for the spiritual side by the Spirit of Christ. So, you have like the Israelites fallen from Grace and the MARK is to find a SCAPEGOAT or A Cappellas or Sorcerers in Revelation 18:23. I am not sure why they are so happy clappy being USED as a sacrifice to Azazel to try to cover for the rest of the congregation.

Sure would like some numbers? Thanks. In the PURPOSE DRIVEN CULT you are allowed to lose up to one half of the owners because MUSIC will attract the masses.

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Ken is full of it, again

January 7 2009, 10:35 AM 

I am not aware of the actual attendance numbers, but am aware of how all three services are attended. Two of the three are packed. The second (the one being discontinued) meets the same time as the Bible classes and only appears to fill 1/2 the auditorium. Bottom line - our attendance has no noticable decline in the past year, and actually appears to be greater. Contributions? We finished the year way over budget. IOW, if no one had contributed 1 cent in the last two weeks of the year, we still would have finished within budget. Our members/owners were asked to consider increasing their contributions 2009, and they overwhelming met that request in pledges.

That is right - the same "owners" you claim are leaving and losing out have re-upped for the coming year and plan on exceeding what they did in 2008.

Note to anonymous - your numbers are not surprisingly off. If all that was contributed by the members/owners for the building instead went to Uganda for food, the result would be each person in Uganda would have one meal paid for only one day. Period. So which is better - feeding one person one meal, or bringing in the lost in your local community everyday for years?

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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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Here is the list of players;

5 Godly Elders
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