Dr. Randy Lowry

Dr. Randy Lowry

Joined: January 14th, 2007, 2:48 am

September 14th, 2007, 2:57 am #1

This week in the Cincinnati Ohio area, is the Area Wide Worship service (www.areawideworship.org). Dr. Randy Lowry is the keynote speaker. Can anyone tell me anything about this man?
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Tom Brite
Tom Brite

September 15th, 2007, 1:17 am #2

You could not meet a better friend. Randy came to Lipscomb from Pepperdine University School of Law.

He is internationally known as one of the founders of the alternative dispute resolution process. He has devoted himself to providing services to large corporations and individuals in the dispute resolution process. Both as a teacher and mediator, he has resolved hundreds, if not thousands, of legal disputes pending in the court system. He founded and headed the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Service which employs retired judges across the country to take cases that have been filed and resolve them without the necessity for trial.

Randy used the skills he learned in mediating civil disputes to utilize mediation techniques to resolve many church and congregational disputes. Not all have been successful (Madison) but many have been met with success.

Introduce yourself to him and you will find him extremely personable and intriguing. You will be blessed by knowing him!
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

September 17th, 2007, 8:00 pm #3

Whenever disputes come to "arbitration" or "mediation," the overall plan is to have all bickering parties come to some sort of compromise, so that everyone is "happy." That is, one party gives a little and takes a little, and the other party does likewise.

That's more easily accomplished with worldly matters that do not involve the Church, the Word of God, or worshiping Him. But when it comes to parties bickering over the Word, the Church, and worship, will compromise be just as effective? Usually when compromise is initiated, something or some things have to "give," that is, be curtailed, eliminated, or short-changed. Can anyone advise bickering parties that to be "happy," some parts of the Word must be bypassed, ignored, thrown out; that worldly practices may be implemented into worship to "please" everyone, when the Word does not authorize such practices?

This is to say that worldly tactics used to "mediate" disputes in the Church may "resolve" disputes, but will they fully satisfy the Word of God at the same time without compromising it one jot or tittle?

Now Dr. Randy Lowry may indeed be an extremely personable and intriquing person as well as a brilliant mediator. According to Tom, Lowry is reputed to have mediated many church and congregational cases "successfully." By that, we can only infer that Lowry was able to convince all bickering parties to return to the principles and teachings of the New Testament and forget about implementing worldly, denominational practices that the New Testament does not authorize. But if "success" meant that Lowry convinced the parties to "compromise" the Word, worship of God, and Christian principles in any way for the sake of peace, tranquility, and "unity," we could not extend any praise.
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Ken Sublett
Ken Sublett

September 19th, 2007, 1:26 am #4

I thought that he was brought to LU because of its own internal problems. I never believed the Flatt reason for suddenly leaving and being hired by a board member.

Steve was a "founding" father of the Jubilee Corporation and many of the discorders still control LU. Their theology is postmodern and many of the professors have been aligned with Shelly and Otter Creek.

One of the first statements by Dr. Lowry was the question of whether the university should remain aligned with "the churches of Christ." Not any "mediatiable option" unless you intend to flat out steal it and divert it.

His group was brought in to mediate the Madison problem but gave up because there was no unity in the eldership. When hired I think that "mediation" is always going to slant toward the Eldership. Taking surveys is one of the very bad ways of slanting the congregation by the way the questions are asked.

As noted, in a corporation there is one way: My way or the High Way. However, when the division is over clear violations of the Word by the peer-selected elders there can be no mediation.

The "theology" coming out of the Bible department does not give you much hope but it all depends on what direction the Board of Directors with responsibility to the founders and builders are heading.

In the long run the solution for churches of Christ is a Restoration Movement to restore the "body" to its members with no command authority or "programs" over which to conflict.
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Joined: January 5th, 2007, 3:53 am

September 21st, 2007, 2:06 pm #5

Ken,
Can you provide the text/documentation of Dr. Lowry questioning whether or not the university should remain aligned with the Church of Christ? I'd be interested in reading about that.
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Tom Brite
Tom Brite

September 21st, 2007, 4:48 pm #6

Ken, I would be interested in that as well.

I have been in Randy's (California - pre-DLU days)house and spent considerable time talking with him.

I would be incredibly surprised that he would raise this issue. I realize that he would certainly be considered more "liberal" than most on this site, but I understand the love that he has for Churches of Christ. (Of cours, I would not have guessed that the Elders at Oak Hills would sanction instruments in Sunday worship services either.)
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Ken
Ken

September 21st, 2007, 4:52 pm #7

Ken,
Can you provide the text/documentation of Dr. Lowry questioning whether or not the university should remain aligned with the Church of Christ? I'd be interested in reading about that.
I can't remember the source but it probably was from the paper announcing his purpose at Lipscomb. Steve Flatt pronounced in one of the Nashville papers that NOT using instruments was "just our tradition." Lowry uses heritage and tradition which is the usual false teaching. The church of Christ never used musical instruments in any of the Protestant groups. Nor did the Catholic church ever engage in "congregational singing with instrumental accompaniment." The organ was the work product of secular people who placed organs for use by composers and for musical performances NOT during the assembly time. The organ did preludes, interludes and intermissions: one historian notes that it set the pitch who did the chanting originally of the Biblical Text as directly commanded.

Many of those with doctorates out of places like LU still do not know the role of music in the Bible as the mark of Satan, warriors, exorcists during animal sacrifices, prostitutes and Sodomites who did the "processionals" Isaiah 30 condemns. Isaiah further shows that when you hear the wind, strings and percussion instruments it is a SIGN that God is driving them into Topheth, once Solomon's music grove which identifies hell.

http://www.piney.com/Isa30LXX.html

By using words like heritage and tradition the clear implication is that the Church of Christ invented the concept of congregational singing. Some say that it was because we were mean, ugly, ignorant, southern red necks. Of course the Lucados, Seidmans, Jones, Atchleys, Rushes and Hendersons STILL lie about every Biblical passage and use raca words like <font color=red>ANTI-instrumentalists</font> to mark those who go beyond "preference" and insist that using "machined for doing hard work" in the ekklesia or school of the Bible IS a sin. There is an increase of those saying that God COMMANDS INSTRUMENTAL PRAISE and we would be disobedient if we DID NOT add instruments. This is fed to dupes by the NACC people such as David Faust. That demands that the <font color=red>ANTI-instrumentalists</font> are proper targets of destruction.

Here is what I copied--I believe--from the LU publication. I will try to find it.
  • <font color=purple>Lowry said he will aim to heighten the university's prestige and said Lipscomb will have to decide whether it wants "to remain a fairly regional school" or to "move beyond that, looking at a broader constituency of students from throughout the country."

    He said that he wants to grow the school's undergraduate body--currently about 2,500 to 3,500.

    "As I understand, currently about 70 percent of the students are from our church constituency, and about 30 percent of the students are from other [non-Church of Christ] faith traditions.

    "My sense is that those who do not share our particular heritage can still find an outstanding educational opportunity at Lipscomb, and we want them, if they're interested in a faith-based education, to consider us."

    He said he and the board very much intend to keep Lipscomb a religious school.</font>
Being semi-paranoid from all of the previous coded speech I worry about seeking a BROADER CONSTITUENCY. I don't see how you can attract a broader religious constituency without broadening the faculty which is already so broad that it demonstrates no church of Christ depth.

My interpretation may be biased on the LU history and bringing in a Conflict Resolver which conflict I believe is internal with the faithful faculty mortally afraid to defend the church of Christ. Even if every thing could be proven wrong, there is no redemption for those who--as they boasted at ACU--to remove the conservatives: meaning "let's steal us a university." A LU Doctor told me 25 years ago that they were in the process of removing the conservatives and I believe they have largely fulfilled their Driven Purpose.
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biblesays
biblesays

September 21st, 2007, 5:52 pm #8

Whenever disputes come to "arbitration" or "mediation," the overall plan is to have all bickering parties come to some sort of compromise, so that everyone is "happy." That is, one party gives a little and takes a little, and the other party does likewise.

That's more easily accomplished with worldly matters that do not involve the Church, the Word of God, or worshiping Him. But when it comes to parties bickering over the Word, the Church, and worship, will compromise be just as effective? Usually when compromise is initiated, something or some things have to "give," that is, be curtailed, eliminated, or short-changed. Can anyone advise bickering parties that to be "happy," some parts of the Word must be bypassed, ignored, thrown out; that worldly practices may be implemented into worship to "please" everyone, when the Word does not authorize such practices?

This is to say that worldly tactics used to "mediate" disputes in the Church may "resolve" disputes, but will they fully satisfy the Word of God at the same time without compromising it one jot or tittle?

Now Dr. Randy Lowry may indeed be an extremely personable and intriquing person as well as a brilliant mediator. According to Tom, Lowry is reputed to have mediated many church and congregational cases "successfully." By that, we can only infer that Lowry was able to convince all bickering parties to return to the principles and teachings of the New Testament and forget about implementing worldly, denominational practices that the New Testament does not authorize. But if "success" meant that Lowry convinced the parties to "compromise" the Word, worship of God, and Christian principles in any way for the sake of peace, tranquility, and "unity," we could not extend any praise.
Bill,
Seems to me, most church disagreements involve matters of opinion concerning METHODS of doing things. Does your opinion that churches that are "mediated" give up some truth in the word of God apply to matters of opinion? Perhaps it would be better to state that clearer. It seems you made a very generalized and stereotypical statement.

Of course, we tend to think our opinions ARE the biblical ones, and the other guy's opinions are "unauthorized innovations." Most of the disagreements are over the "silent" matters. How do we know who is right and who is compromising the word of God? Is it, perhaps, that the person who fails to compromise to my "belief" (opinion) also compromises the word of God?

Additionally, because something is new, different, or apart from status quo, does that make it unbiblical, unauthorized, or otherwise wrong?
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

September 22nd, 2007, 2:44 pm #9

I never said all churches that are "mediated" compromise the Word or worship or Christian principles. I raised the question that, since mediation in the secular world almost invariably involves some kind of compromise, then using the secular technique of "mediation" to resolve church disputes would very likely also involve compromise. Church disputes often involve much more than time of Sunday services and whether the Lord's Supper is served before or after the sermon (definitely matters of opinion).

Church disputes often involve people desiring, nay, demanding, that their personal preferences be implemented and forced upon the general congregation, preferences that may violate New Testament principles. The classic example is instrumental music. Some wish to fall back on Old Testament principles and bring in instruments, which flies in the face of New Testament commands to sing and make melody with our hearts (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). The New Testament gives a command about the music we are to use and does not authorize anything there beyond vocal music. Yet people only bring discord and disharmony to churches of Christ by railroading IM into their congregations. There have been plenty of discussions about that.

Another issue is that some wish to "expand" the Lord's Supper into a fellowship meal with more than bread and fruit of the vine and thus create a festival or carnival atmosphere about it. The New Testament warns about taking the Lord's Supper in an unworthy manner as if the purpose is self-gratification to fill one's belly (1 Cor. 11:20-30).

If churches based what was implemented in worship on the standards set forth in the New Testament and were completely satisfied with that without looking to try this fad and that gimmick, which could possibly violate the New Testament, there would be no need for "church mediation."

People say, "Who determines what is acceptable and proper? Who determines what is a matter of opinion vs. a matter of New Testament command?" Compare all things to the New Testament. If what you wish to implement does not add to, take from, or otherwise violate an existing New Testament command or principle, then there is probably nothing wrong with it.

People always bring up the subject of kitchens, pews, podiums, rest rooms, air conditioners, etc., when talking about "authorized" and "unauthorized" practices. Such people cannot or will not recognize the difference between matters of faith based on New Testament mandates, which are not governed by human opinion, and trivial matters, which are subject to human opinion. Adding instrumental music ADDS to what God has already imposed about vocal-only church music. It violates the New Testament. Converting the Lord's Supper into a festival with pizza, chops, and steak violates the manner imposed by the New Testament for observing the Lord's Supper. Whether the church has round or square lamp shades in the vestibule is a matter of opinion that does not violate any New Testament principle; lamp shades are not matters of faith. Having song books or projecting the words to hymns on an overhead projector are matters of opinion that do not violate any New Testament principle; song books and projectors are not matters of faith.

Again, if churches truly let the New Testament be their guide, "mediation" with its potential for compromising New Testament principles could virtually be eliminated.
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Tom Brite
Tom Brite

September 22nd, 2007, 5:25 pm #10

I do know from attending several seminars on managing church conflicts at the Pepperdine Campus and being personally involved in helping with some church disputes that most church disputes were over "worship styles." Specifically, the inclusion of contemporary praise songs with old time hymns. So these were not areas were "doctrinal" divisions were present, but only preferences in worship style.
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