John
John

December 22nd, 2003, 2:07 pm #11

John,

Is there a link to the Banner of Truth website? Or, if you have any information from it or from Plumbline, can you forward it to my e-mail address?

I’ve done some thinking (oops, that’s risky) on Woodmont Hills and Oak Hills and come up with this: Richland Hills with its [another one] “famous” leader, Rick Atchley as the “Senior Minister of the Word.” It’s another one of those “apostate” congregations—about the size of Oak Hills. The RHCC website is another one of those ashamed to headline its elders—you will need to go through layers of web pages to find a diagram of the “eldership hierarchy.” In addition, I would like to see its list of deaconesses.

While I’m thinking about hills, creeks and rivers, let me tell you about the Quail Springs Church of Christ with Mark Henderson as its “Senior Minister.” I don’t know anything about it except that the home page has “Quail Announcements” and first on the list is “A Christmas Season Celebration—a time of worship and celebration of the Christmas season.” “More” links to this schedule: "A Christmas Season Celebration” will take place at Quail on December 23, 7-8 PM, in the QSCC auditorium. This will be a time of worship and celebration of the Christmas season.”

Let me get back to my point. I guess you have figured out by now their commonality as far as this thing about the “hills” goes. Our brother Ken Sublett is very familiar with this “Look to the Hills” kind of stuff. Anyway, I think Otter Creek (“creek” being somewhat insignificant) probably needs to change its name to Otter Hills or Otter River. Tim Woodroof needs to write many more books about “undoing” the Restoration Movement with Max Lucado as his mentor. Woodroof will be able to say one day: “I have arrived!”

Donnie
Here are the links for the info I found:

Plumbline: http://www.eastcorinth.org/plumb899.htm

The Banner of Truth is from a couple of years back and I can't get to the website right now, so I can't give taht link.
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

December 23rd, 2003, 10:48 am #12

John,

Thanks for the links—I am able to access both. I haven’t yet read the entire article written by J.E. Choate, “Consistency: The Jewel in the Crown”; but here’s a portion that caught my attention:

[[[[[------------------
The forced resignation of Doug Varnado from the Lipscomb Bible faculty has now made its way throughout the brotherhood. Varnado was compelled to leave the Lipscomb faculty. He had no idea that this was his time to go. Doug was planning as the senior minister of the Hendersonville Community Church to install instrumental music in the weekly worship of the church.

. . .

Why was Doug Varnado singled out for dismissal? The faculty and administration are loaded with faculty who defend the practices which caused Varnado's dismissal. You will locate these brothers and sisters in the Harpeth Hills, Otter Creek, and Brentwood Hills churches, and in Dr. Shelly's church. And, they make no bones about the fact.

What did the Community Church shepherds have in mind when they engaged in a exercise of futility to go public with the Varnado matter? And who is this Kansas City like prophet, Ron Cook, and what are his credentials? He tells us that the next generational Churches of Christ will worship to the sound of instrumental music.
------------------]]]]]

See my point? Everything is about the “hills”—Harpeth Hills, Brentwood Hills, Woodmont Hills, Richland Hills, Oak Hills.

I really just wanted to quote the segment above as a reminder of what the New Testament church is facing in this post-modern era—the Community Church Movement, the Charismatic Movement, the Contemporary Christian Music Movement, Trans-Baptist and other Change Movements, etc.

Donnie Cruz
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

July 9th, 2005, 8:13 pm #13

<a name="mailbag"></a>

<font size=+2>"Thank you Lord. I thought I was the only one"</font>

Name Edited Out

========================
Posts made prior to 10-23-2002 have been archived.
<a href="http://www.concernedmembers.com/forumar ... 3d.txt">[b]
Click here to read the archive.[/b]</a>
========================
<font face=courier>-----Original Message-----
From: ----- [[url=mailto:-----_-------------@yahoo.com]-----_-------------@yahoo.com[/url]]
Sent: Wednesday, July 06, 2005 6:03 PM
To: donniecruz@msn.com
Subject: About Madison "coC" </font>

<font size=3 color=indigo face=times new roman>Don –

I recently stumbled on to the <font color=red> Letter to Elders Madison Church of Christ, Nashville</font> & was quite interested in what was written. I can't say I am surprised by what I read. I followed the links & located the concernedmembers.com site. When I saw RHCOC as one of the highlighted congregations, I thought 'that figures'.

I am from the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex & have lived in Tarrant County (where Richland Hills is) for nearly 27 years. The reputation of RHCOC is infamous. Liberal, of course. I have heard of many things that go on there.

I was concerned when I read that the Madison situation basically started with the "Purpose Driven Life". My congregation had the 40 days of purpose last summer. Luckily this was not met with enthusiasm & in fact many members were disgusted by the whole thing. I don't know who or how many may have left.

For years the leadership & "minister" at my congregation has failed to do their job IMO. Our congregation use to have in attendance each week about 400 members each Sunday morning. Now we are lucky to get about 130 or so. I am very frustrated by the situation.

Anyway, just thought I'd drop you a note from someone else who feels much like you do.

Your brother in Christ </font>


<font color=red face=arial black>Signed</font>

<font size= 3 color=red face=arial black>Matt 6:25-34</font>

Last edited by Donnie.Cruz on July 12th, 2005, 3:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

July 11th, 2005, 7:52 am #14

<a name="mailbag"></a>

<font size=+2>"Thank you Lord. I thought I was the only one"</font>

Name Edited Out

========================
Posts made prior to 10-23-2002 have been archived.
<a href="http://www.concernedmembers.com/forumar ... 3d.txt">[b]
Click here to read the archive.[/b]</a>
========================
<font face=courier>-----Original Message-----
From: _____________@aol.com [[url=mailto:_____________@aol.com]_____________@aol.com[/url]]
Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2005 10:28 PM
To: donniecruz@msn.com
Cc: JOHNWADDEY@aol.com
Subject: What Has Happened!</font>

<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>Brother, my heart's desire is that the truth will win, but in reality, (for the present) Satan has scored a great victory. Bro. Ira North would have never stood with this. It was taken to the Brotherhood too late. I really don't like saying this, but Ira Rice warned many years ago that there was a problem in the Madison eldership. The congregation’s problems started when Steve Flatt was pulpit minister and digressed from there. While I was attending I.B.C. in Florence, Al. not much was ever said positively about Madison. I always wondered about it and now I know why. You who are continuing stay with it! Please keep the web-site going. The faithful are in my prayers. May God bless you.

____________________ [Signed]
____________ Church of Christ </font>
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

September 7th, 2005, 9:54 am #15

<a name="mailbag"></a>

<font size=+2>"Thank you Lord. I thought I was the only one"</font>

Name Edited Out

========================
Posts made prior to 10-23-2002 have been archived.
<a href="http://www.concernedmembers.com/forumar ... 3d.txt">[b]
Click here to read the archive.[/b]</a>
========================
<font face=courier>-----Original Message-----
From: _____________________@_____.com
Sent: Tuesday, September 06, 2005 9:07 AM
To: donniecruz@msn.com
Subject: Hermitage Church of Christ</font>

<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>Donnie,

Hope you are doing well.

I thought you might be interested in this email we received from someone who received an email warning about the changes at Hermitage Church of Christ (my former congregation). The original emailer who was warning of the changes had provided links to concerned members and other websites warning of the changes. Of course we could see the way things were going a long time ago, even before Phil Barnes was there. Now I believe from what I have heard that the changes are accelerating as the elders there believe they must go the entertainment route to compete with the brand new huge Baptist church building and fancy electronic sign across the street from them.

Of course, in typical change agent fashion, as you can see in the text of the email, the change agent supporters jump to the defense of the elders and try their best to label the concerned member as an agent of Satan. The email is somewhat jumbled, but it is just as it was received by us.

It's really a shame.

Take care,

[Signed] </font>

________________________

I’m deciphering . . . posting again soon.

Donnie
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

September 8th, 2005, 10:35 am #16



<font color=black face=courier>From: 44(Respondent)
To: [A concerned member of the Hermitage congregation].[1.2.3.4
. . . 5.6.7.8.9.10.11.12.13.14.15.16.17.18.19.20.21.22.23.24
. . . 25.26.27.28.29.30.31.32.33.34.35.36.37.38.39.40.41.42
. . . 43.___.45.46.47.48.49.50.51.52.53.54 e-mail addresses]
Subject: Re: Hermitage church of Christ and the Elders future direction
Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2005 8:02:02 -0400 </font>

<font color=red size=3 face=times new roman>I will be praying for you, whoever you are....coward that you are, not to put your name to an email, but praying for you as you are doing Satan's work. The spirit of God is not living in you as you are causing dissention by even spreading this email. Your heart is not right with God and I am praying for you all! Hermitage nor Madison are doing nothing that goes against the Word. Only you think they are because you have let Satin in and I am praying for you! God help you and direct you and take the hardness out of your heart before it is too late! The Preachers and ELders of both Madison and Hermitage are Godly men and are being led by the Spirit. It is obviously that YOU ARE NOT and are taking what you THINK is going on and not finding scriptures in the Bible to back up what you THINK IS GOING ON! You are being led by Satan, not God's WORD.</font>

_____________________________
_____________________________
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

September 8th, 2005, 3:29 pm #17

There are several problems with these emails. First, unsigned emails are essentially "spam" and lack credibility. I must agree with the term of "coward" as applied in the response email from Hermitage.

Most folks would merely delete "spam," but apparently this "spam" really stuck a nerve with one person at Hermitage. The Hermitage response is highly defensive as if to say, "Hey, there's truth in what the anonymous member says, and we're gonna nip it in the bud ASAP." All Hermitage can do, however, is present the usual tit-for-tat lame argument: "We're of God; you're of Satan."

Despite appearing as "spam," the anonymous member's email contains links to web sites which clearly refute the Church Growth Movement with Scripture. Ignoring those, the Hermitage response instead attempts to escape criticism by rebuking the concerned member for his/her alleged paucity of Scripture, while in the same breath, Hermitage offers no specific, biblical justification for its own actions there.

So appears the usual, double standard practiced by the Change Movement.
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Saddened Member
Saddened Member

September 9th, 2005, 9:00 pm #18

<font face=courier>-----Original Message-----
From: _____________________@_____.com
Sent: Tuesday, September 06, 2005 9:07 AM
To: donniecruz@msn.com
Subject: Hermitage Church of Christ</font>

<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>Donnie,

Hope you are doing well.

I thought you might be interested in this email we received from someone who received an email warning about the changes at Hermitage Church of Christ (my former congregation). The original emailer who was warning of the changes had provided links to concerned members and other websites warning of the changes. Of course we could see the way things were going a long time ago, even before Phil Barnes was there. Now I believe from what I have heard that the changes are accelerating as the elders there believe they must go the entertainment route to compete with the brand new huge Baptist church building and fancy electronic sign across the street from them.

Of course, in typical change agent fashion, as you can see in the text of the email, the change agent supporters jump to the defense of the elders and try their best to label the concerned member as an agent of Satan. The email is somewhat jumbled, but it is just as it was received by us.

It's really a shame.

Take care,

[Signed] </font>

________________________

I’m deciphering . . . posting again soon.

Donnie
I am deeply saddened by your comments, sir, about our church's desire to engage in some sort of competition with the big Baptist church across the street. If you are a current member of Hermitage and have sat down with the elders and they admitted to a desire for an "entertaining" worship service to compete with another church that clearly does not preach the Gospel, then I digress, and sincerely apologize for falsing accusing you. HOWEVER, if you are basing your statement on "something you heard", then please refrain from posting such comments on a public website until you have the facts or a statement signed by the elders and congregation regarding our desire to compete with another church of any kind. It's websites and comments such as these that continually brew the gossip and fuel the fire of church dissention.

I believe that the Lord's church that meets at Hermitage is God-fearing, Gospel based, and has a desire for an orderly worship according the scriptures. There are those that choose to clap during a song (mainly just a handful of our youth group), but the majority of the congregation does not. We sing a mix of new and old songs and we have one song leader, no praise team and no desire to have one. I have read many arguments on this site about the problems with the "new" songs, and how they are not scriptural, but guess what....if you look in our old hymn books, there are some that were written in the 1800's, and some in the 1900's. If my math is correct, the ones in the 1900's were NEW at one point! Guess there were churches divided over songs then too.

Our service is calm and orderly, with the usual scripture reading, a few songs, a prayer, a song and the Lord's Supper, sermon, then a closing song. Baptism is essential for salvation and our preacher stresses that each and every sermon. There are no theatrics, no humming during a prayer, or cueing of lights.

I kindly ask that you attend a service before you pass judgment on the way we conduct our worship services so that your information spread on this website will be firsthand, not heresay. I trust that you are a Christian man with a good heart and I sincerely share your desire to maintain a scripturally sound worship service. I strongly believe that the Hermitage elders and members have NO intentions of following any community church movement, or any other such nonsense that I've read about on this website. I will be the first to walk out if I ever get the message that we are headed down that road.

Thank you for your consideration and concern for our congregation. I ask for your prayer that we can get through this trying time and resume our focus which should be respectfully worshipping our Lord, being a good Christian example to the world around us, and leading souls to Christ through our actions and the message of the Gospel.

In Christian Love,
Kendra Tucker, Member Hermitage Church of Christ
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

September 12th, 2005, 9:34 am #19

<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>Dear Kendra,

We appreciate your post very much. Personally, I gather that you are very loyal to Christ, His church and the truth. I have checked out Hermitage’s website some. I have reviewed the HCC History, as well as the weekly bulletins, but the earliest ones date back to November 2004 only. I was looking for Phil Barnes in the history and bulletins because the e-mail that was sent to me did mention Phil, who came to Madison before then. You made no mention of Phil, and I’m assuming that he was the preacher there some time.

[Here’s to let you know that I have started this reply . . . which will be continued....]

Donnie</font>
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

September 14th, 2005, 9:17 am #20

[Continued...]

______________________________


<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>I’m really interested to know from you or anyone when Mr. Barnes was minister at Hermitage. How long did he serve? What did you or the congregation think of him? Was he too animated in his sermon delivery? Were his sermons replete with humorous stories . . . humorous personal stories, but lacking in substance? Did he have “liberal-thinking” tendencies? Did he leave on his own or was he driven out?

My understanding is that Phil was the “pulpit minister” of Western Hills on Charlotte Pike [. . . and he may have come to Madison directly from Western Hills]. I have looked at the WHCC website [another one of those “Hills” churches, you know, like “Richland Hills,” “Woodmont Hills,” “Oak Hills,” etc.]. When a church website uses favorable expressions to mislead and deceive, I become very suspicious—such as “a dynamic church ... grace-oriented ... contemporary style church ... available to all faith levels ... our mission statement is ... openness ... in this community of faith ... regardless of religious background ..., etc.”

The reason I’m bringing up the above is that I just want to look at both sides objectively. On one hand, you mentioned only certain items that you consider as “gossip” fueling “the fire of church dissention” and then expect evidence to come from the elders. I don’t know what the elders think, and I’m not speaking for or against that which I know nothing about. But do you believe that the elders would really admit to advocating something that could backfire or be used against them or be blamed for?

On the other hand [OK, I realize the impact of what “I have heard” means], should we not consider the possibility that “the changes are accelerating as the elders there believe they must go the entertainment route”? There may be at least some truth to that claim based on: (1) the original e-mail from “a concerned member at Hermitage” and (2) the way the “respondent” replied to the original e-mail ... both of which, by the way, you did not mention at all. Interestingly, the first paragraph of your post is directed only to the one who sent me both (1st and 2nd) e-mails and who also referred to Hermitage as the “former congregation” of this “Christian man”—yet you said “if you are a current member.”

I would give the original e-mail the benefit of a doubt as it truly was a voice of CONCERN “about the future direction of Hermitage church of Christ. Most are not aware of what appears to be slowly occurring....”

The key expression here is “slowly occurring.”

I’d be the first one to admit that in Madison’s situation, I certainly was not aware; in fact, many members were not aware when the culture-driven contemporary/community church scheme was ever so slowly and subtly taking place. It had been going on for a decade until the upheaval occurred in early 2001.

More concern was expressed in the original e-mail—“... educate yourself and ask the Elders questions... May God bless and touch the hearts of the Elders and the members and bless the future direction of the Lord's Church as this current controversy is sorted out”

So, is there or is there not a “current controversy”?

It appears that there is a “current controversy.” It stands to reason that I would give credence to the respondent’s statements—the same defense mechanisms that disciples of change agents commonly use: “... you are causing dissention ... you do not have the spirit of God ... you are not being led by the Spirit ... you are doing Satan’s work ... you are being led by Satan ... the hardness of your heart ... the Scripture does not say “NOT TO” ..., etc.”

Furthermore, the respondent’s e-mail associates Hermitage with Madison or vice versa—both “doing nothing against the Word” ... “preachers and elders of both are godly men and are being led by the Spirit.”

So, was Phil Barnes employed to complete the scheme here at Madison, a similar scheme that he wanted implemented at Hermitage?

Kendra, I need you to help me. Here’s why. I really like your comments about the church at Hermitage being God-fearing and gospel-based, having a desire for an orderly worship with a song leader [not “worship leader,” thank you] but with no praise team to replace or override congregational singing [thank you, again] and no theatrics and other contemporaneous extra-curricular activities. I’m so glad to hear that baptism is essential for salvation for without it there is no redemption in the blood of the Lamb.

The “order of worship” is not an issue [although it’s a distraction when some humming or some operatic solo occurs during the solemn observance of the Lord’s Supper].

The mixture of new and old songs is not an issue unless either type does not conform to what the Holy Scripture teaches. I’m critical of expressions in a song, such as the Calvinistic doctrine that “I can’t believe that He [God] selected me!” ... but not the other person. Or, to sing, “Let us worship the Father” in reverence and awe and at the same time perform rhythmic clapping and swaying to the music or applaud at the end of the “worship” song.

I notice you’re quick to point out the old songs of the 1800’s and 1900’s being “new” at the time—which is common knowledge and is really not the issue. Rather, the issue is concerning many contemporary songs and some hymns that are “contaminated” with societal and cultural or pop influences, rather than express divine or truth messages. I’m just a little concerned that you seem to use the same defensive arguments for the Contemporary “Christian” Music Movement.

What about clapping by some of the young people? Guess what! That’s the pretty sure sign or mark of the bigger “things” to come. Just wait when a “Worship Leader” is fully EMPLOYED, and along with him/her is the “Praise Team” with MICROPHONES!!! I need not explain all that again here. I think you get the point.

There’s much more to say. But this post is getting too long and boring.

Kendra, I have confidence in you as you seem to be willing to defend the church and its cause in Hermitage. Perhaps, you can help prevent from happening at Hermitage what happened at Madison. What about warning fellow members against possible future intrusion and disruption by the change agents—if it’s not already happening? Better yet, could you or someone or a group of members find out from the elders if there is or has been a move in that direction?

Again, thanks for your post. And let us hear from you what you find out.

Donnie </font>
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