HILLCREST CHURCH OF CHRIST,ABILENE,TX.,USA

Joe McKnight
Joe McKnight

March 9th, 2002, 5:51 pm #11

I am a member at Hillcrest Church of Christ in Abilene, TX. We have been experiencing similar problems in our church that Madison Church of Christ has.

I have read everything I can get my hands on about the Church Growth Movement including your website and links.

In an attempt to reconcile differences in our church, the elders requested that everyone sign up for a meeting on Wednesday night (these meetings were
spread over several weeks in order to keep the groups small). The idea was to have a representation from each class at each meeting. Two elders would be present in each meeting and they would have one moderator. The only stipulation put on the meeting is that it has to be "positive".

Did you experience anything like this at Madison? I know the moderator in our meeting and I don't think it is an attempt at the Delphi Technique.

How can I get my points across about the error of the changes without getting negative? Do you have any ideas? Our meeting is tomorrow night, Wed Jan 23, 2002.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

Kevin Hamm
Deceit: Just enough truth to get you to buy off on a lie. The degree of truth is determined on how much truth you need to except a lie. The trick is to be able to gleam the truth from the fields sown with lies. The higher up the scale of milk to meat you are, the more you can gleam. Babies in Christ should stay out of these fields. The meat eaters can gleam it clean and not touch the lies. If you are an herb eater and you visit these fields, check out your bounty, to see if it is lie free with the true acid lie test the scriptures. The secret of the meat eaters is the uses of the scriptures. You may be asking what in the world is he talking about? I Corinthians 1:17-3:23 and Hebrews 5:11-14 when Paul is chastising follower for being slothful.

To God be the Glory
Joe McKnight
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Joe McKnight
Joe McKnight

March 9th, 2002, 6:18 pm #12

I am a member at Hillcrest Church of Christ in Abilene, TX. We have been experiencing similar problems in our church that Madison Church of Christ has.

I have read everything I can get my hands on about the Church Growth Movement including your website and links.

In an attempt to reconcile differences in our church, the elders requested that everyone sign up for a meeting on Wednesday night (these meetings were
spread over several weeks in order to keep the groups small). The idea was to have a representation from each class at each meeting. Two elders would be present in each meeting and they would have one moderator. The only stipulation put on the meeting is that it has to be "positive".

Did you experience anything like this at Madison? I know the moderator in our meeting and I don't think it is an attempt at the Delphi Technique.

How can I get my points across about the error of the changes without getting negative? Do you have any ideas? Our meeting is tomorrow night, Wed Jan 23, 2002.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

Kevin Hamm
Joh 14:15 - If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Joh 15:10 - If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

Does this mean God/Jesus’ love is conditional?

II Peter 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. 15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Well this shines a bright light on the dangers scripture twisting that we are use to in the Modern feel good church.

II Thess 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Oh, oh, oh, another one
Isaiah 66:4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not. 5 Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.
May goodness there every where:
I Timothy 4:1 Proverbs 1:24-33 Isaiah 65:11-16 Jeremiah 7:11-16 Matthew 24:24.

Hirelings: John 10:12-14
Brothers and Sisters cemeteries have cranked out the Hirelings and we have bought off on what they have taught us for years. It is time we start holding them to the Word. TEST what they teach (Acts 17:11-12)
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a concerned reader at ACU.EDU
a concerned reader at ACU.EDU

March 12th, 2002, 4:44 pm #13

Joe,

I have noticed, both on this web site and on the Richland Hills site, that you seem to attack these churches in general and assume certain things to be true. For instance, in your previous post you referred to "feel-good" churches. How do you know that Hillcrest or Richland Hills is a "feel-good" church? Have you attended there regularly? Do you know the leaders of the church? Have you listened to sermons there and determined them to be "feel-good" rather than biblically accurate? Now, if you want to debate the specific issue mentioned, such as "special servants" at Richland Hills or the things Kevin Hamm mentioned on this site about praise music, etc., that's one thing. But I don't see a need to make these sweeping assumptions and attack these churches and church leaders about other issues without knowing the facts of each situation.

a concerned reader

P.S. Could you please define the word "Hireling" for me?

P.P.S. The verses listed above do attest to conditional salvation, but not conditional love. Don't you think that God loves sinners and desires for them to repent? Whether they do or not and whether they are saved or not is not necessarily the same as whether God loves them or not.
Last edited by KevinHamm on March 27th, 2002, 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joe McKnight
Joe McKnight

March 15th, 2002, 8:27 pm #14

Who are you, concern reader?
I would love to answer your question you brought up some points that I have great answer to.
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Mellon A. Fry M.D.
Mellon A. Fry M.D.

March 23rd, 2002, 2:52 am #15

About 3 years ago Hillcrest adopted the Purpose Driven Church model. In August, 2001 we hired a new pulpit minister (who was selected by a selection committee and approved by the elders, there was no vote by the congregation). It wasn't until the end of September that we realized something was wrong. Quite a few new songs were sung during the Sunday morning worship service that included alot of hand clapping. There arose such a furor that the next Sunday only older, more traditional songs were sung. The Sunday after that it was mixed, old and new. Also during this time, Brent McCall, a church growth expert conducted a survey of the church. My wife and I were dealing with her mother being in the hospital when the survey was given to the church, so we didn't know what the questions were, but the next Sunday there was another big explosion. We were told that the survey's questions were too vague (could be answered any number of ways depending on how you interpreted the questions) and that they were terribly skewed.

My suspicion is that there are a few elders with ties to the university here, Abilene Christian University, that lord over the other elders. The more conservative elders are intimidated by them because they have PHD's. This is just an educated guess on my part.

Quite a few people who supported this change have left our church (some key people however are still here). I don't know if they wanted to change faster or if they truly did not want to be involved in dividing the church. Another possibility is that they have only left temporarily and will return when things are going more their way. It's all so bazaar.

I was thinking along the same lines for the meeting tomorrow night as far as reading applicable Scripture. I believe only the Word might possibly get through to these people. I also plan on addressing the problems with the workbook "Experiencing God" since it is being taught in one of the Ladies' classes on Wednesday nights. I just wonder if the elders have even read it.

We recently found out that a worship committee has been appointed by the pulpit minister to help design the worship service. The elders agreed to this committee and gave them much freedom including skits. There is no elder serving on this committee at this time, but there was one serving on it when it was first formed. This elder is the one that "represents the post-moderns" (his words). Who would have thought?

We had a meeting with the elders about 2 weeks ago on a Sunday night. It was open to the whole church. Only about 20 people attended (not including the elders) out of a membership of about 800. Nothing was accomplished as far as I know. But then you already guessed that. It was after this meeting that I read about the Delphi Technique and realized that one of the elders was using it during that meeting. The same elder that has a PHD, is a professor at ACU and served on the worship committee.

The week before this meeting open to the whole church, a small group of people wanting this change met with the elders. I understand it lasted until midnight and they made a list of five (5) things they needed from the elders:

1. Elders' public commitment to spiritual and numerical growth
2. Public commitment to being led by the Holy Spirit through prayer and tangible evidence of it
3. Each elder take a group of members and visit them to understand spiritual needs, including those people who have already chosen to leave
4. Immediate selection of more new elders so these spiritual needs can be met 5. Small-group study by the elders of a book on spiritual leadership, such as They Smell Like Sheep, Experiencing God, and Spiritual Leadership

We were only allowed to talk until 9PM. That definitely did not sit well, but I think we already knew that what we had to say would fall on deaf ears. I genuinely don't think some of the elders know where this thing is headed. Or if they do, they don't know how to stop it.

That's a brief description of what's going on here. I don't know all the details since most of it is covert. Now, it would seem that they want us to focus on "getting along" although they are the ones that caused the division. But I'm not telling you anything new.

Quite frankly, I wouldn't have know about Madison Church of Christ if I hadn't overheard someone say something about an article in the Christian Chronicle. That's when I started doing my research. You are providing a
tremendous service for all who seek the truth.

Thank you for your patience and sharing your wisdom.

Kevin
I attended th Farragut Churchof Christ in Farragut, Tenn. until about 2 years ago. About 70 of us left because of the elders attitude and also a preacher from Texas. Now I understand that an additional 30 members are very unhappy. They seem to what to join the community church concepts. They are learning from the change agents in Nashville. I dont see any hope unless they are draged from the church building . Pray for th Lords Church. I was a deacon and finance chairman.
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Joined: March 13th, 2002, 6:27 am

March 28th, 2002, 10:46 pm #16

...than I do because you were closer to the "inner circle". It just hit us one day and we didn't know where it was coming from.

I would like to hear more about the process they used. Please email me at hammkevin@msn.com

Prayerfully Onward,

Kevin
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Greg Utter
Greg Utter

September 3rd, 2002, 4:46 pm #17

About 3 years ago Hillcrest adopted the Purpose Driven Church model. In August, 2001 we hired a new pulpit minister (who was selected by a selection committee and approved by the elders, there was no vote by the congregation). It wasn't until the end of September that we realized something was wrong. Quite a few new songs were sung during the Sunday morning worship service that included alot of hand clapping. There arose such a furor that the next Sunday only older, more traditional songs were sung. The Sunday after that it was mixed, old and new. Also during this time, Brent McCall, a church growth expert conducted a survey of the church. My wife and I were dealing with her mother being in the hospital when the survey was given to the church, so we didn't know what the questions were, but the next Sunday there was another big explosion. We were told that the survey's questions were too vague (could be answered any number of ways depending on how you interpreted the questions) and that they were terribly skewed.

My suspicion is that there are a few elders with ties to the university here, Abilene Christian University, that lord over the other elders. The more conservative elders are intimidated by them because they have PHD's. This is just an educated guess on my part.

Quite a few people who supported this change have left our church (some key people however are still here). I don't know if they wanted to change faster or if they truly did not want to be involved in dividing the church. Another possibility is that they have only left temporarily and will return when things are going more their way. It's all so bazaar.

I was thinking along the same lines for the meeting tomorrow night as far as reading applicable Scripture. I believe only the Word might possibly get through to these people. I also plan on addressing the problems with the workbook "Experiencing God" since it is being taught in one of the Ladies' classes on Wednesday nights. I just wonder if the elders have even read it.

We recently found out that a worship committee has been appointed by the pulpit minister to help design the worship service. The elders agreed to this committee and gave them much freedom including skits. There is no elder serving on this committee at this time, but there was one serving on it when it was first formed. This elder is the one that "represents the post-moderns" (his words). Who would have thought?

We had a meeting with the elders about 2 weeks ago on a Sunday night. It was open to the whole church. Only about 20 people attended (not including the elders) out of a membership of about 800. Nothing was accomplished as far as I know. But then you already guessed that. It was after this meeting that I read about the Delphi Technique and realized that one of the elders was using it during that meeting. The same elder that has a PHD, is a professor at ACU and served on the worship committee.

The week before this meeting open to the whole church, a small group of people wanting this change met with the elders. I understand it lasted until midnight and they made a list of five (5) things they needed from the elders:

1. Elders' public commitment to spiritual and numerical growth
2. Public commitment to being led by the Holy Spirit through prayer and tangible evidence of it
3. Each elder take a group of members and visit them to understand spiritual needs, including those people who have already chosen to leave
4. Immediate selection of more new elders so these spiritual needs can be met 5. Small-group study by the elders of a book on spiritual leadership, such as They Smell Like Sheep, Experiencing God, and Spiritual Leadership

We were only allowed to talk until 9PM. That definitely did not sit well, but I think we already knew that what we had to say would fall on deaf ears. I genuinely don't think some of the elders know where this thing is headed. Or if they do, they don't know how to stop it.

That's a brief description of what's going on here. I don't know all the details since most of it is covert. Now, it would seem that they want us to focus on "getting along" although they are the ones that caused the division. But I'm not telling you anything new.

Quite frankly, I wouldn't have know about Madison Church of Christ if I hadn't overheard someone say something about an article in the Christian Chronicle. That's when I started doing my research. You are providing a
tremendous service for all who seek the truth.

Thank you for your patience and sharing your wisdom.

Kevin
hmm... gossip has always been a seed satan plants. It happens when a Brother, or Sister, begins giving his version of what happened, based on "educated guesses". It happens when a person begins assigning motives to the leaders God has placed in his life...motives based not on faith in God, but on doubt in one's self..and others.

Change is difficult. Ever wonder why the Hebrews began complaining so shortly after they were freed from the slavery of the Egyptians....change is difficult.

I grew up in Abilene. Attended Baker Heights CoC until the hypocrisy and insanity of small minded, immature spirituality drove my family away. We looked at many churches (all CoC, of course). We settled on Highland CoC. Now...before you role your eyes, Lynn Anderson was preaching then. And never a more conservative group of Elders were there in the CoC. But something different was happening then...Lynn Anderson was doing something new. He was worshipping God, not the Church of Christ. He was learning and teaching from the entire Bible..not just learning and teaching the Church of Christ party line. And the Elders at that time, they began to learn to do something they had never really learned to do before; trust God.

Until that time, they thought they had been trusting God; but they came to see that what they had been doing was trusting the traditions of the Church of Christ, and saying God enough times to make themselves feel justified. And they used the scripture they needed to keep all their traditional Church of Christ ducks all lined up.

But with Lynn Anderson, they had a new model; a genuine, full faith Christian; born and raised Church of Christ, and committed to its heritage and body, but still.... and a full faith Christian. They saw a new way to read the Bible... not to pull out scripture and post it next to a stand...but to read it, in big parts; find the stories. They learned to let the Bible change them into 'new creatures', instead of using verses in it like sticks, to prop up the old person.

I haven't attended at Highland in almost thirty years. My parents still do. They have been hard set by many of the changes they have seen. But they learned a long time ago, when Lynn Anderson was there, that it was God they were to trust; it was His Word they were to seek. So they have managed the changes, and believe it or not, they have found their faith, and their lives enriched by it. You see, God has a plan for us all; and it rarely matches ours. When we cling to him, change happens! And it is hard! It often looks strange and scary...even wrong at times. But we cling to him!

What do we learn when we cling to God? We learn that he never changes; that we can depend on Him when our world seems to be lost. We can find a good word, when we let him speak through us. We learn that we were focused on the wrong things when we worried, and that when we focused on Him, everything worked out fine.

I dont know what will happen at Hillcrest. I do know what wont happen; God wont abandone anyone who clings to him; and how will you know who is clinging to him? well...they wont be gossiping, that's for sure..

Peace, brother, peace.
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Joined: March 13th, 2002, 6:27 am

September 13th, 2002, 6:56 pm #18

Since the changes taking place at Hillcrest Church of Christ were being made behind closed doors, all that was available were educated guesses. My educated guesses were not just based on what I saw, they were based on what I was told by credible sources on the inside.

You can call it gossip all you like. It is no different from you making comments about Highland based on what your parents have told you.

The post that you are referring to was originally an email to the Concerned Members at Madison Church of Christ. I believe it was an honest assessment of what was taking place at Hillcrest Church of Christ at the time. I did not state as facts anything that I did not know to be a fact and they were not intimate in nature. The information I relayed was not unverified and was not from uncertain origin (that is the definition of gossip in case you were wondering).

As for the comment on motives of leaders not based on faith in God, I can only add that the "leader" mentioned in my post that aligned himself with the post-moderns was not reaffirmed by God.

Change has nothing to do with the problems we are facing. I work in an industry that changes every day. I am not allergic to change. When changes are made to conform to man and not to God, then I have a problem.

As for Lynn Anderson and the Highland Church of Christ, I'll leave that to God. Lynn Anderson's thoughts are well published and Highland Church of Christ's recent changes are not in keeping with Scripture. Only time will tell.

Prayerfully Onward,

Kevin
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Jaymie Rossi
Jaymie Rossi

October 26th, 2002, 10:15 pm #19

About 3 years ago Hillcrest adopted the Purpose Driven Church model. In August, 2001 we hired a new pulpit minister (who was selected by a selection committee and approved by the elders, there was no vote by the congregation). It wasn't until the end of September that we realized something was wrong. Quite a few new songs were sung during the Sunday morning worship service that included alot of hand clapping. There arose such a furor that the next Sunday only older, more traditional songs were sung. The Sunday after that it was mixed, old and new. Also during this time, Brent McCall, a church growth expert conducted a survey of the church. My wife and I were dealing with her mother being in the hospital when the survey was given to the church, so we didn't know what the questions were, but the next Sunday there was another big explosion. We were told that the survey's questions were too vague (could be answered any number of ways depending on how you interpreted the questions) and that they were terribly skewed.

My suspicion is that there are a few elders with ties to the university here, Abilene Christian University, that lord over the other elders. The more conservative elders are intimidated by them because they have PHD's. This is just an educated guess on my part.

Quite a few people who supported this change have left our church (some key people however are still here). I don't know if they wanted to change faster or if they truly did not want to be involved in dividing the church. Another possibility is that they have only left temporarily and will return when things are going more their way. It's all so bazaar.

I was thinking along the same lines for the meeting tomorrow night as far as reading applicable Scripture. I believe only the Word might possibly get through to these people. I also plan on addressing the problems with the workbook "Experiencing God" since it is being taught in one of the Ladies' classes on Wednesday nights. I just wonder if the elders have even read it.

We recently found out that a worship committee has been appointed by the pulpit minister to help design the worship service. The elders agreed to this committee and gave them much freedom including skits. There is no elder serving on this committee at this time, but there was one serving on it when it was first formed. This elder is the one that "represents the post-moderns" (his words). Who would have thought?

We had a meeting with the elders about 2 weeks ago on a Sunday night. It was open to the whole church. Only about 20 people attended (not including the elders) out of a membership of about 800. Nothing was accomplished as far as I know. But then you already guessed that. It was after this meeting that I read about the Delphi Technique and realized that one of the elders was using it during that meeting. The same elder that has a PHD, is a professor at ACU and served on the worship committee.

The week before this meeting open to the whole church, a small group of people wanting this change met with the elders. I understand it lasted until midnight and they made a list of five (5) things they needed from the elders:

1. Elders' public commitment to spiritual and numerical growth
2. Public commitment to being led by the Holy Spirit through prayer and tangible evidence of it
3. Each elder take a group of members and visit them to understand spiritual needs, including those people who have already chosen to leave
4. Immediate selection of more new elders so these spiritual needs can be met 5. Small-group study by the elders of a book on spiritual leadership, such as They Smell Like Sheep, Experiencing God, and Spiritual Leadership

We were only allowed to talk until 9PM. That definitely did not sit well, but I think we already knew that what we had to say would fall on deaf ears. I genuinely don't think some of the elders know where this thing is headed. Or if they do, they don't know how to stop it.

That's a brief description of what's going on here. I don't know all the details since most of it is covert. Now, it would seem that they want us to focus on "getting along" although they are the ones that caused the division. But I'm not telling you anything new.

Quite frankly, I wouldn't have know about Madison Church of Christ if I hadn't overheard someone say something about an article in the Christian Chronicle. That's when I started doing my research. You are providing a
tremendous service for all who seek the truth.

Thank you for your patience and sharing your wisdom.

Kevin
Hello Ken,

I can only say it's happening in New Jersey too.(see my addition to the "more churches" about Bethel Baptist in Cherry Hill, NJ for more info).I will say I leafed through the "Experiencing God" book in the lobby of our church (instead of listening to the service, which lacks the meat of the Word these days since our poor deceived pastor returned from Saddleback a year ago).The book is very subtle in that it denied the knowledge of God through His written Word, and instead tries to substitute "experiences" as though THEY were more trustworthy! We all know from Genesis that "the imagination of man is only evil continously, so while these deluded brethren will experience SOMETHING, the source of it will be any thing but holy! Not to mention the COVENANT at the end of the book.Not good at all!
I was hard pressed to leave - when the pastor came back from being Saddleback - indoctrinated, by his second "sermon", I was extremely upset with the turn his speach took. He started using words like "process", and "self esteem", and generally sounded like he was going to start a 12 step program to Christ.I wrote him a VERY scathing (un-Christian in tone) letter accusing him of being under a satanic influence.Little did I know I was right! It was mean in tone, and I later apologized and he accepted so I stayed.He then went back to Biblical exposition, and things looked better.But after about a year, stuff started to change again - surveys, less Biblical teaching (and they advocate the NIV, which is an abomination anyway), and finally the throwing out of some very distinguished members (see articles on dialectical materialism - it's exactly what is happening, but I'm not sure even the ones doing it understand what they are really getting into)I STILL didn't get it.But after I heard the Christmas music arrangements (a lot of rock beats, which I refuse to perform - I was a first soprano and soloist, which is another problem in the making), I knew I would have to do something.I asked God for an answer as to what was really going on, and He lead me in some amazing ways to the truth, and then to this website.
There is nothing you can do at your church but leave it.Be reviled of men and rejoice, for your reward will be great in heaven!
The Lord led us the very next weekend to a wonderful church where they know of this evil and avoid it totally.They also preach only from the KJV.They are out there - find one.In fact, ask Him to find one for you! And then do what this Jew who is in love with Jesus did - GET OUT!
"Come out of her, my people, lest ye be partakers of her plagues".
He isn't kidding.He holds us resposible to KNOW all the things He told us! (that's why "my people" have been in such hot water for so many millenia!).
As you may have guessed, I care very little about peer pressure or I wouldn't be following Him.So leap into His arms and get out before you miss the Big Event, should it take place in our lifetimes.He only PROMISES the Rapture to the church of Philadelphia.There may be others who get to go, but those who are aware of evil and do not choose to depart from it while there is still time ("while today is still called today") may have to remain.So leave the evil - while today IS still called today!
God bless you in your decision.
In Christ,
Jaymie Rossi
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Kevin Hamm
Kevin Hamm

October 28th, 2002, 11:49 pm #20

About 3 years ago Hillcrest adopted the Purpose Driven Church model. In August, 2001 we hired a new pulpit minister (who was selected by a selection committee and approved by the elders, there was no vote by the congregation). It wasn't until the end of September that we realized something was wrong. Quite a few new songs were sung during the Sunday morning worship service that included alot of hand clapping. There arose such a furor that the next Sunday only older, more traditional songs were sung. The Sunday after that it was mixed, old and new. Also during this time, Brent McCall, a church growth expert conducted a survey of the church. My wife and I were dealing with her mother being in the hospital when the survey was given to the church, so we didn't know what the questions were, but the next Sunday there was another big explosion. We were told that the survey's questions were too vague (could be answered any number of ways depending on how you interpreted the questions) and that they were terribly skewed.

My suspicion is that there are a few elders with ties to the university here, Abilene Christian University, that lord over the other elders. The more conservative elders are intimidated by them because they have PHD's. This is just an educated guess on my part.

Quite a few people who supported this change have left our church (some key people however are still here). I don't know if they wanted to change faster or if they truly did not want to be involved in dividing the church. Another possibility is that they have only left temporarily and will return when things are going more their way. It's all so bazaar.

I was thinking along the same lines for the meeting tomorrow night as far as reading applicable Scripture. I believe only the Word might possibly get through to these people. I also plan on addressing the problems with the workbook "Experiencing God" since it is being taught in one of the Ladies' classes on Wednesday nights. I just wonder if the elders have even read it.

We recently found out that a worship committee has been appointed by the pulpit minister to help design the worship service. The elders agreed to this committee and gave them much freedom including skits. There is no elder serving on this committee at this time, but there was one serving on it when it was first formed. This elder is the one that "represents the post-moderns" (his words). Who would have thought?

We had a meeting with the elders about 2 weeks ago on a Sunday night. It was open to the whole church. Only about 20 people attended (not including the elders) out of a membership of about 800. Nothing was accomplished as far as I know. But then you already guessed that. It was after this meeting that I read about the Delphi Technique and realized that one of the elders was using it during that meeting. The same elder that has a PHD, is a professor at ACU and served on the worship committee.

The week before this meeting open to the whole church, a small group of people wanting this change met with the elders. I understand it lasted until midnight and they made a list of five (5) things they needed from the elders:

1. Elders' public commitment to spiritual and numerical growth
2. Public commitment to being led by the Holy Spirit through prayer and tangible evidence of it
3. Each elder take a group of members and visit them to understand spiritual needs, including those people who have already chosen to leave
4. Immediate selection of more new elders so these spiritual needs can be met 5. Small-group study by the elders of a book on spiritual leadership, such as They Smell Like Sheep, Experiencing God, and Spiritual Leadership

We were only allowed to talk until 9PM. That definitely did not sit well, but I think we already knew that what we had to say would fall on deaf ears. I genuinely don't think some of the elders know where this thing is headed. Or if they do, they don't know how to stop it.

That's a brief description of what's going on here. I don't know all the details since most of it is covert. Now, it would seem that they want us to focus on "getting along" although they are the ones that caused the division. But I'm not telling you anything new.

Quite frankly, I wouldn't have know about Madison Church of Christ if I hadn't overheard someone say something about an article in the Christian Chronicle. That's when I started doing my research. You are providing a
tremendous service for all who seek the truth.

Thank you for your patience and sharing your wisdom.

Kevin
To my surprise and relief, it was not a heavily moderated meeting. There was no agenda. It was left
open for anyone to talk about anything they wished.

One member expressed his opinion that the church is made up of members with very diverse views.

I asked everyone if we all agreed that the Bible was the inerrent Word of God. Everyone agreed. So I brought up the fact that I had issues with the book "Experiencing God". I asked how many had read the book. Only two had(there were about 30 in attendance). I began by stating that the book:

1. Promotes the notion that God speaks to us in other ways besides the Bible.
2. Promotes teaching in contradiciton to the Bible in respect to miracles and the Gospel.
3. Promotes neo-orthodox theology (Scripture may become the Word of God if the reader has an experience with a passage).
4. Promotes a low view of Jesus Christ.
5. Scripture is misinterpreted and misapplied.

I also read many quotes from the book supporting my claims.

The moderator asked why I felt it necessary to mention this book. I stated that this was being used in a Bible study for women on Wednesday nights. He asked where. I said here at this church. He asked who was teaching it and I told him who. (I believe he asked these questions to give validity to my remarks. He was helping me give relevance to my statements.)

One member (who I now consider "the opposition") stated that I could not know what is being taught in that class if I wasn't attending the class. I stated that this is what is in the workbook and I didn't think I would be allowed in the class since it was a women's class. These are direct quotes from the book. He said anyone can make anything sound bad if taken out of context and by picking out certain passages the way I did. I stated that the whole book was like this. His wife spoke up and said that she had been in Bible studies with these two women before and that they would decide what parts of the book that they believed and what parts they did not believe.
She stated that there are good parts to the book and they didn't have to agree with all of it.

I stated that this was the danger with a book like this. There are truths and there are lies and it was difficult to discern between the two especially if the class includes members new to the faith that didn't know Scripture enough to distinguish between fact and fiction. My wife stated that this was the foundation of the church, that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. This book questions the deity of Christ which shakes the very foundation of the church.

Another member asked what the criteria for Bible study was. Were there things that could be taught and things that couldn't? What things could not be taught? I stated that I would think that you wouldn't want to teach heresy (in hindsight, I don't believe I should have made such a bold statement. Then again, maybe I should have.). I was told that the two women teaching the class on "Experiencing God" were godly women and I
can be assured that they are not teaching heresy! I simply stated that everyone should read this book and decide for themselves. I told them it was in their local library.

There was much discussion about the Education Dept. needing supervision of the elders. There was little discussion about the change in worship (handclapping songs, powerpoint presentation, etc.). I didn't want to monopolize the discussion so I didn't bring up any new issues.

There was discussion about channels of communication between the elders and the congregation. Several were vocal in their support for the elders and the work they were doing.

Several members stated that they were thankful that we could get together and discuss issues like this. They may not always agree, but we can only grow when we discuss them.

The moderator stated that maybe the elders needed to get the pulse of the congregation on the changes to the worship service (we only have one service on Sunday morning). Possibly by way of a survey. He wants to know if these changes are being made to appease a small percentage of members.

There were two elders in the meeting and both thanked me for bringing this issue ("Experiencing God") before them. I sincerely believe that they didn't realize this was being taught in one of our classes (even though it was announced in the bulletin on Sunday morning). In all fairness, they had not read the book yet. I will follow up with an email to all elders with my notes on this book. Time will tell if they are open to more discussion. I believe God answered our prayers tonight. I truly believe some eyes were opened and that truth will prevail.

As I have stated before to Bobby Johnson, I believe there is one dominant elder with change on his agenda. He is a professor at a christian college and is the one pushing this change. There are other elders that agree with his philosophy, but they don't push it. I pray that this exchange tonite will open up opportunities for more discussion.

Keep us in your prayers as you are in ours,

Kevin
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