Tom Brite
Tom Brite

April 9th, 2004, 6:04 pm #11

Dr. Crump, I probably should have explained that point in my earlier post. I found it embarrassing, and when I would invite friends from other churches (not churches of Christ) to visit our service with me and then the preacher would call out denominations by name, including the ones from which my friends were visiting, and refer to them as being "bound for hell," which is the exact statement that was made. Whether or not this is true, I did not, and still do not, believe it appropriate for that statement to be made in a public setting. It builds walls that I found to be irreparable by further discussions. I have heard from numerous people that statements like those would prevent them from ever darkening the interior of a "church of Christ" again.

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Kenneth Sublett
Kenneth Sublett

April 9th, 2004, 8:44 pm #12

Who are you to dictate what churches put on their sign? You are a DEAD breed. Get over YOURSELF.

Carpenter's Church is an OUTREACH arm of Broadway Church of Christ. They minister to the drug addicted, prostitutes and down-trodden in the inner city of Lubbock, Texas. And, I am sure that you know ALOT about that Donnie considering the things you post here. The name of their church is NOT your concern. Take care of your own and leave us ALONE.

Your constant ranting is getting very BORING. You do not see the CHRIST for what he REALLY is.

jd
Jeff, there are many MINISTRIES but they are not remotely related to the Synagogue of Christ which is a School of the Bible. In the ancient world you could found a home for lepers, and you could be an evangelist, but one ministered to the FLESH and the other ministered to the SPIRIT.

The church ministers to its own faithful who are in trouble--even jail--for no guilt on their own. While people are free to form ministries to homosexuals with aids it is a COLLECT and DIVERT of the funds of honest students: that means dishonest and divisive. You cannot be a CAR SHOP FOR THE LORD without diminishing or eleminating the church as SCHOOL OF THE BIBLE. The ekklesia or synagogue was for HEARING EVIDENCE and making DECISIONS: it, like the Hebrew synagogue, never had a praise service and never sunk into the SOCIAL GOSPEL.

Two institutions have two separate purposes: the church teaches the Biblical Psalms and other material and people return to the other 167 hours of their lives to "sing AND make melody" in their human hearts.

If the church does anything but collect from those who HAVE PROSPERED during the week to help those WHO ARE DESTITUTE it is LADING A BURDEN on people for which Jesus died and for "ministries" (the old pyramid scam of David). Remember, that when Jesus comes it will have as many prostitutes or poor or homosexuals as before you DIVERTED your work from TRAINING SOULS for a heavenly realm which is in another dimension where FLESH does not exist. In the meantime you have radicalized the church and NO ONE is training souls for the eternal dimension.

JD IT IS NOT A CHOICE: YOU CANNOT BE A CHRISTIAN SYNAGOGUE (EKKLESIA) AND BE ANYTHING MORE THAN A GATHERING (SYNAGOGUE) TO GIVE HEED TO THE PUBLIC READING OF THE WORD, TO EXHORT THAT WHICH IS READ AND TO INDOCTRINATE THAT WHICH IS READ. THE LORD'S SUPPER IS TO SHOW FORTH (TEACH OR PREACH) THE DEATH OF CHRIST. YOU CANNOT BE A CHRISTIAN SYNAGOGUE IF YOU LUST TO AROUSE THE FLESH. You should be free to be a SECT or SECULAR benevolent society (as Phoebe served the Greek government) but you ARE NOT free to steal the church houses of widows who purchased the property to be a CHRISTIAN teaching Society. You cannot steal and be a Christian: you cannot promote "music" or rhetorical preaching without performing the language-defined roles of SORCERERS and therefore PARASITES.

There is nothing you can use to contradict this almost universal view. The priests, who called themselves the church of Christ, left all and went out into the pagan districts to FOUND SCHOOLS of reading and writing and human skills SO they could understand the Bible. Your group IS NOT a Christian Synagogue because it fails in every test. Early teachers--being honest as Paul commanded--taught you the Bible or rhetoric and you could, if you wished, pay them for their teaching. If you hire a piano teacher at $10 an hour, she CANNOT invade your house and be paid for 40 hours a week.

Ken
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

April 10th, 2004, 10:52 am #13

Donnie, one of the things that I remember most from my Sunday school education in a conservative church of Christ is that while "church of Christ" or "Church of Christ" was A name for the Lord's Church, that it was not THE name for the Lord's Church, at least from a biblical standpoint. So, it seems strange to me that you are more, or at least, equally concerned about the name of certain churches as you are the doctrine of those churches.

You do not have to talk to many people to come across those, who rightly or wrongly, have a very negative impression of the name "C(c)hurch of Christ" because of past events. I can tell you that there were several times in my youth when I had invited friends to church with me when it did not take too far into the sermon for me to be embarrassed that I had asked them to come with me. While we in the C(c)hurch of Christ have not viewed ourselves to be a denomination, that is exactly what the outside world has perceived us to be. It seems to me that by insisting that we must call ourselves C(c)hurch of Christ that WE HAVE made ourselves into a denomination that must be known by those three words. Personally, I think your statement that those words were removed from the sign at Woodmont Hills, Oak Hills or any of the other churches listed because they were ashamed to wear the name of Christ to be shallow.

So, I guess my question would be this: Are you saying that the only name that a gathering of the Lord's people can be know as is "C(c)hurch of Christ?" If your answer is "no," then please explain why you are taking to task these congregations for making these changes. I would appreciate your comments so that I can better understand your thoughts. Thanks!
Tom,

I didn’t quite complete my response to Robin Guidicy earlier. But I think his closing remarks were somewhat related to yours in that he said that those who have removed “Church of Christ” from their signs “reached a point of honesty” which “is not what we want to hear.” [He sounded somewhat poetic near the end there.]

Just a little background about me … I did not grow up in the same kind of religious environment as you did. The neighborhood was 90% Catholic … and my family went from “faith to faith”—that sounds ironic because Romans 1:17 states—“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith.” But I’ve been exposed to almost all kinds of religious beliefs and practices under the sun—Baptist, Methodist, Seventh Day Adventist, Christian and Missionary Alliance, United Church of Christ, Church of God (Pentecostal), Assemblies of God, etc., etc.

So, from all the varied experiences in religion, I’ve been able to compare and contrast church creeds and doctrines. And I must unequivocally state that based on what I know about the truth that’s revealed in the New Testament, the little known “churches of Christ” spoken of in Romans 16:16 are the closest to the truth when compared with any of the religious groups established by humankind.

I know fully well, and I agree with you, that the church of our Lord is identified in various ways in the New Testament [key words: “New Testament”]. There are references to: … all the churches of the Gentiles …the churches of God … all churches of the saints … the churches of Galatia … the churches of Asia … the churches of Macedonia … the churches of Judaea which were in Christ … the seven churches which were in Asia. The church is also known as the family of God … the household of faith … the household of God, the kingdom, etc.

But that was during the New Testament period. There were no denominational churches with human founders then. So, a congregation in Rome or Ephesus or Galatia mentioned in the New Testament would certainly be a church that belonged to Christ—it would not be a Mormon Church or Seventh Day Adventist or Christian Science, would it?

In this day and time, the New Testament church must be identified regardless of the preconceived notions or negative impressions by those who are already affiliated with certain religious persuasions. The likelihood is that it would take much more than a friendly visit with your congregation for someone to be converted from another religion. Besides, as far as “conversion” goes, there is so much to do out there in the mission fields than within the church confines—which reminds me of the mission of the change agents and the “Community” churches, i.e., to have a conglomerate of “believers” coming together from various already-established churches in a locality or region or neighborhood. I would like to put the mission statements of “Community Churches” to the test out there in real mission fields where the gospel of Christ is unheard of. I would like to see how the “scheme” of converting the converted works in a Buddhist country. I would like to see the change agents subvert the Roman Catholic Church for a change.

The probability is that when, for example, “Oak Hills Church of Christ” changed its name to “Oak Hills Church” [side note—it would not surprise me if appending the word “Community” was strongly under consideration] … that twisting of the New Testament truth, such as in Max’s version of the purpose of baptism, had been involved in the scheme of things. Otherwise, what the “Oak Hills Church of Christ” bunch was all about to begin with would remain unchanged in the minds of those with preconceived notions of that church. Do you see my point?

I still believe that given the circumstances that many people in “Christianity” generally believe that “one church is just as good as another,” it is in accordance with New Testament teachings that the Lord’s church is uniquely identifiable. For example, I think that this would make an excellent church sign because it is a statement of truth: “The church of Christ at Madison meets here.” It is less “offensive” [if you insist] but it identifies with the name of Christ being its head and founder.

Let me know if I’m misunderstanding you. But I gather from you, Tom, that church identification is of little or no significance to you. If this happens to be the case, i.e., if you feel that with you affiliating with and becoming a member of “Fairview Church” which has changed its name from “Fairview Charismatic Fellowship Church” (with or without you knowing it) does not matter, what can I say? Do you see my point?

Believe me, I understand all the misrepresentations about the church. But dropping the name of Christ for the purpose of “political” correctness or socio-cultural accommodations is not the way to proclaim the truth about the church that the New Testament speaks of.

Donnie
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

April 10th, 2004, 10:54 am #14

Who are you to dictate what churches put on their sign? You are a DEAD breed. Get over YOURSELF.

Carpenter's Church is an OUTREACH arm of Broadway Church of Christ. They minister to the drug addicted, prostitutes and down-trodden in the inner city of Lubbock, Texas. And, I am sure that you know ALOT about that Donnie considering the things you post here. The name of their church is NOT your concern. Take care of your own and leave us ALONE.

Your constant ranting is getting very BORING. You do not see the CHRIST for what he REALLY is.

jd
JD,

Sorry, I didn’t mean to bore you. I was simply trying to illustrate a point regarding what a search engine is capable of doing with a given set of parameters.

Even if I dictated [which I do not] what needs to be put on the church sign, I doubt very seriously that anyone would pay any attention to me.

Where I didn’t have a question before about Carpenter’s Church, I certainly do now. You brought it up, so the readers, including myself, need further clarification. Is it a church or a congregation in itself then? Is it a ministry with a church name? Is it a church branch with Broadway as the Mother church? Your response is optional, since I realize I must leave you alone—as you said. You’re right; I have no business interfering with your ministry.

Donnie
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

April 10th, 2004, 11:01 am #15

I really need to apologize for my earlier comments on this website. I had hastily read some of the comments without understanding what was really being discussed. I arrived on this site while looking for congregations in the Florida area. Our son has recently moved there and I was searching for congregations that appeared scripturally sound. I suppose the key word is "appears" since one cannot tell any more simply by the name. I am a christian, a member of the Lord's church, and I am so saddened by all the apostasty. I apologize for my misunderstading of the matters at hand and add my prayers to all the others for Satan to be defeated. Jan
Dear Jan,

Thank you so much for your response. Personally, I cannot accept your apology. Do you know why? There was nothing to apologize for. Instead, let us count it a blessing that your initial post has served to allow us to remind others that we are doing the best we can to thwart the efforts of the change agents in our midst. The “Church Transformation Movement” advocates have undoubtedly abandoned the principles of restoring the New Testament church, as well as their allegiances to the church that belongs to Christ. I honestly believe that God’s will for the church needs no improvisation, that God’s scheme of redemption is unalterable, and that compromising the truth in order to seek cultural approval is unacceptable. No one should be opposed to changes and to change methodologies, especially while keeping pace with the ever-changing technological advances. But when changes alter or compromise God’s truth, then, we should be cognizant of these changes and not implement them.

We are delighted to hear that you are a Christian, a member of the church of our Lord. Hopefully, you have been able to find the congregation you were looking for in the Florida area. Have you already checked the following links?

http://www.tcoc.net/churches-fl.html
http://church-of-christ.org/web/United_ ... rida_S.htm

I concur with you. Many times the best we can do is on the basis of what “appears” to be scripturally sound. Even that has to be put to the test. Contrary to the objectives of the various movements to seek secular or cultural approval and political correctness, we are to seek only the truth and God’s approval. II Timothy 2:15—“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” We don’t need Rick Warren’s approval or Max Lucado’s.

Donnie Cruz
Last edited by ConcernedMembers on April 10th, 2004, 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Estill B.
Estill B.

April 10th, 2004, 11:04 am #16

In the narrow context in which the founder's and those
that represent the "old path" speak, it purely from
a loss of power.
Their day has passed.
They have refused to change.
They have become the pharisee of modern day christianity.
Their slanted take on faith is from the idea, that "we have always done it this way."
What you won't see reported here, is that numbers are on their way back up.
You won't see that the body is unified, and that Donnie remains the lone voice in the balcony,
sliding in in after services begin, and slithering out before they end.
Another point of good news is that churches that were withering away around Madison are again growing.
Christians that wanted a less celebrative style of worship have gone elsewhere, and apparently are making contributions.
I think you'll find too, that those who have removed
"church of christ" from their signs reached a point of honesty.
The honesty is not what we want to hear.
Basically, this isn't a fellowship.
Who can blame them?
Character attacks, mistruths, half-truths, slander, etc.
If this represents the "church of christ" then count me out.
So, the road signs are clearly marked.
Whether we recognize the liability our name now carries
is up to us.
It has been my experience that nothing is more corrupting than a little bit of power.
These men, "concerned members" are desperately looking for it, and it is only here, in the shadows that they find it.
Life's evening sun is sinking low....low, indeed.
To depth's not previously seen.

Robin Guidicy
Madison Member
Robin,

Allow me to respond to a few of your points.

I've been described as "phariseical" before when I've taken a stance on "bible only" principles, and the other person had no argument and wanted to "label" me. I believe that the problem with the Pharisees was that they were hypocritical. You don't know me, but I am not hypocritical.

You may be talking about Donnie and Ken here when you say '"their slanted take on faith is from the idea, that "we have always done it this way."' If you include me, and people like me, that couldn't be further from the truth. I strive to do EVERYTHING that I do based on biblical principles...not because I've always done it that way.

On a similar note, I don't tend to get bored in continuing to worship in a way I have always done it. I personally think that this is the main reason for a lot of the new "faddish" ways of worship...boredom.

The numbers may be on the way back up, but "unified?" Ask some of the long-time members who remain at the first service. My inquiries over the past year of these people have yielded the opposite results. They just don't want to leave their "church home."

Robin, there's a lot of love at Madison, in certain circles. But, it has been my experience that the more "conservative" members are more tolerant of the more "liberal" members in points of view, preference, etc. Why do you think that is, in your opinion?

Why are more "praise songs" led during first service as they have been more and more frequently over the last few months? This seems kind of arrogant to me.

Why is there now, all of a sudden, an Easter drama, and only during second service? Most of the more "liberal" people I know at Madison give biblical examples of things like "lifting holy hands" while singing or praying...or biblical examples of "prayer postures." There's no example of drama in worship. How did they come up with that one? Are people just afraid to say, "Why are we doing this?" It reminds me of "The Emporer's New Clothes." Everyone sees the clothes, right?

Why, (during football season usually) when second service people attend first service, do they "defiantly" clap during a "praise" song when they know it is upsetting to some brothers and sisters? What about that "love" they speak of? IF this is preference only, can we love anyone any more than to defer to that other person's preference?
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Anonymous
Anonymous

April 10th, 2004, 3:33 pm #17

Estill,

I completely concur about "Bible only."
I don't agree with everything that is done, nor the way it is done, but, I don't have too....

As long as man is trying to do God's will there will be disagreements.
Mostly, though, they are trivial.
I have participated in both services at Madison.
Do I go to the first service and clap?...No, I don't.
Would I?...Probably not.
I have spent my entire life in "the church of christ".
I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly.
I've seen church splits, you name it, I've seen it.

I love congregational singing.
In fact, I have led it that way most of my life.
Do I love the "old" songs? Absolutely!
Do I love the new ones? Without question....
Are any of them sacred? No, they aren't.
Do I hold some of them closer to my heart than others.
Yes, without question.
I can be moved to tears by "Old Rugged Cross" just as easily as I can by "Above All."
However, I don't offer condemnation for doing it a particular way.
Going through the motions isn't worship,
Regardless of the style.
Frankly, there are aspects of a full-fledged drama
of which I am unsure, but, am I opposed?...No.

There are churches of christ that oppose supporting missionaries, sunday school, orphan homes, and the list goes on and on.
I don't find them listed anywhere on this web site.
Are they anymore or less faithful than you or I?

I further believe that much of what Max Lucado and
Rubel Shelley, and list goes on and on, are a victim of, is simply put; jealousy.
I'm not here to defend or prosecute anyone for their belief or worship style.

Estill, I don't take issue with anything you say.
I spend one sunday a month speaking at two of our senior citizen centers.
Its my duty as a christian to care for the widows,
and those who have gone before me.
They are a part of my family. I love them, not because I have anything to say to them, but, rather by being there with them.
Just like the Lord promises to be with me.

Madison is, by and large, a very positive place.
Are there problems?....Absolutely.
They are on a much grander scale, because its Madison.

It doesn't matter if you go to Poplar Bluff, Missouri
or Kingston, Jamacia, tomorrow christians will gather
in great numbers, and small, and remember, reflect,
and yes, even celebrate a risen savior.

Robin



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Tom Brite
Tom Brite

April 10th, 2004, 10:16 pm #18

Tom,

I didn’t quite complete my response to Robin Guidicy earlier. But I think his closing remarks were somewhat related to yours in that he said that those who have removed “Church of Christ” from their signs “reached a point of honesty” which “is not what we want to hear.” [He sounded somewhat poetic near the end there.]

Just a little background about me … I did not grow up in the same kind of religious environment as you did. The neighborhood was 90% Catholic … and my family went from “faith to faith”—that sounds ironic because Romans 1:17 states—“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith.” But I’ve been exposed to almost all kinds of religious beliefs and practices under the sun—Baptist, Methodist, Seventh Day Adventist, Christian and Missionary Alliance, United Church of Christ, Church of God (Pentecostal), Assemblies of God, etc., etc.

So, from all the varied experiences in religion, I’ve been able to compare and contrast church creeds and doctrines. And I must unequivocally state that based on what I know about the truth that’s revealed in the New Testament, the little known “churches of Christ” spoken of in Romans 16:16 are the closest to the truth when compared with any of the religious groups established by humankind.

I know fully well, and I agree with you, that the church of our Lord is identified in various ways in the New Testament [key words: “New Testament”]. There are references to: … all the churches of the Gentiles …the churches of God … all churches of the saints … the churches of Galatia … the churches of Asia … the churches of Macedonia … the churches of Judaea which were in Christ … the seven churches which were in Asia. The church is also known as the family of God … the household of faith … the household of God, the kingdom, etc.

But that was during the New Testament period. There were no denominational churches with human founders then. So, a congregation in Rome or Ephesus or Galatia mentioned in the New Testament would certainly be a church that belonged to Christ—it would not be a Mormon Church or Seventh Day Adventist or Christian Science, would it?

In this day and time, the New Testament church must be identified regardless of the preconceived notions or negative impressions by those who are already affiliated with certain religious persuasions. The likelihood is that it would take much more than a friendly visit with your congregation for someone to be converted from another religion. Besides, as far as “conversion” goes, there is so much to do out there in the mission fields than within the church confines—which reminds me of the mission of the change agents and the “Community” churches, i.e., to have a conglomerate of “believers” coming together from various already-established churches in a locality or region or neighborhood. I would like to put the mission statements of “Community Churches” to the test out there in real mission fields where the gospel of Christ is unheard of. I would like to see how the “scheme” of converting the converted works in a Buddhist country. I would like to see the change agents subvert the Roman Catholic Church for a change.

The probability is that when, for example, “Oak Hills Church of Christ” changed its name to “Oak Hills Church” [side note—it would not surprise me if appending the word “Community” was strongly under consideration] … that twisting of the New Testament truth, such as in Max’s version of the purpose of baptism, had been involved in the scheme of things. Otherwise, what the “Oak Hills Church of Christ” bunch was all about to begin with would remain unchanged in the minds of those with preconceived notions of that church. Do you see my point?

I still believe that given the circumstances that many people in “Christianity” generally believe that “one church is just as good as another,” it is in accordance with New Testament teachings that the Lord’s church is uniquely identifiable. For example, I think that this would make an excellent church sign because it is a statement of truth: “The church of Christ at Madison meets here.” It is less “offensive” [if you insist] but it identifies with the name of Christ being its head and founder.

Let me know if I’m misunderstanding you. But I gather from you, Tom, that church identification is of little or no significance to you. If this happens to be the case, i.e., if you feel that with you affiliating with and becoming a member of “Fairview Church” which has changed its name from “Fairview Charismatic Fellowship Church” (with or without you knowing it) does not matter, what can I say? Do you see my point?

Believe me, I understand all the misrepresentations about the church. But dropping the name of Christ for the purpose of “political” correctness or socio-cultural accommodations is not the way to proclaim the truth about the church that the New Testament speaks of.

Donnie
Donnie, I believe that I do see your point and it does make sense to me. Thank you for sharing your past experiences from your youth. You are to be commended for the stand that you are taking and I can understand where you are coming from.

I think there was a time following WWII when denominational names were very important to people. From my reading of history, people were more grounded in their various denominational doctrines. It was also a time when there was a large surge in church attendance overall in the US and the churches of Christ benefitted from this attendance surge more than most. That is what lead Time magazine to declare that we were the "fastest growing denomination in the US. That fact is very much debatable. I have heard varying stories of how they came to that conclusion, but needless to say, we along with all other religious groups benefitted from that surge in attendance.

I guess my point, at the risk of being accused of spreading lies for someone by Ken, is that I am less concerned about the name on the building as I am the content of the teaching. If it is possible to eliminate or bypass prejudices, be they right or wrong, by modifying the name on the building, then that is what I believe we ought to be willing to do to reach others for the cause of Christ. I am not sufficiently aware of research to determine if the churches that are doing this are successful in their efforts. There was a time not too long ago, when I did not feel this way. I was very adament about the name "church of Christ." That was my heritage and my heart felt belief.

However, I am aware that the attendance at Oak Hills has increased from @3,500 to @5,000 since the change/modification of the name. It seems that Amarillo South has also seen an increase although it appears to be a smaller percentage increase. I would be interested to see any studies that exist to determine if other churches such as the ones in Nashville and Little Rock that have modified their names have experienced similar growth.

I could go on and may at a later time. I do not want to dominate the discussion. Thanks for your attention.

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Ray
Ray

April 11th, 2004, 5:27 am #19


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I had not looked at this site for some time as most of the post don't do much to build me up.

However, Several things about this whole thing make me sad. I am saddened by the fact that some are discarding the Name "Church of Christ) from their designation (not just their building). I have always been proud of the designation "Church of Christ", However, I have not held that as the official "NAME". As far as I can determine Jesus never named His church. He just said it was His. The term "Church of Christ" is a possesive term, not a Name. It describes who the church belongs to. We must be honest and admit that for all praticaL purposes the term "Church of Christ" has been denominationalized. No one (unless it is a very small group of us) would even argue otherwise anymore. Yes, this is sad it had to come to this.
It is also very sad that a element has so conducted themselves and at the same time called themselves "Church of Christ" that the sinners around us have developed such a bad taste. This may not totally excuse their bad taste but the fact remains it has happened and there is enough blame to go around. If the figures you gave on Oak Hills is correct, it really is sad that the community around had such a bad taste that the changing of the Name would make such a difference. I am sure there are other things envolved.
I ppersonally have known those who left the church and will never return because of some of the fussing that we have been noted for. Yes, I know that may not be a good excuse; there is fussing in all churches to some degree.
Did not Jesus say, that offenses would come, but woe to the one that causes the offense?

I challenge us all, to take a honest look at ourselves and make sure we are not a part of the problem. If we are, may God have mercy on us.

Sorry, but I have now laid myself open for the wrath of WHO KNOWS WHO!!!!!!

I HEARD A BROTHER SAY ONETIME, "THE CHURCH OF CHRIST MUST BE THE TRUE CHURCH, IF IT WASN'T WE WOULD HAVE DESTROYED IT A LOMG TIME AGO, NOTHING ELSE COULD HAVE SURVIVED".

THINK ABOUT IT!!!!! RAY PIPPIN


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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

April 11th, 2004, 6:49 am #20

Donnie, I believe that I do see your point and it does make sense to me. Thank you for sharing your past experiences from your youth. You are to be commended for the stand that you are taking and I can understand where you are coming from.

I think there was a time following WWII when denominational names were very important to people. From my reading of history, people were more grounded in their various denominational doctrines. It was also a time when there was a large surge in church attendance overall in the US and the churches of Christ benefitted from this attendance surge more than most. That is what lead Time magazine to declare that we were the "fastest growing denomination in the US. That fact is very much debatable. I have heard varying stories of how they came to that conclusion, but needless to say, we along with all other religious groups benefitted from that surge in attendance.

I guess my point, at the risk of being accused of spreading lies for someone by Ken, is that I am less concerned about the name on the building as I am the content of the teaching. If it is possible to eliminate or bypass prejudices, be they right or wrong, by modifying the name on the building, then that is what I believe we ought to be willing to do to reach others for the cause of Christ. I am not sufficiently aware of research to determine if the churches that are doing this are successful in their efforts. There was a time not too long ago, when I did not feel this way. I was very adament about the name "church of Christ." That was my heritage and my heart felt belief.

However, I am aware that the attendance at Oak Hills has increased from @3,500 to @5,000 since the change/modification of the name. It seems that Amarillo South has also seen an increase although it appears to be a smaller percentage increase. I would be interested to see any studies that exist to determine if other churches such as the ones in Nashville and Little Rock that have modified their names have experienced similar growth.

I could go on and may at a later time. I do not want to dominate the discussion. Thanks for your attention.
Tom,

I hope you realize that in my earlier post I was not trying to diminish the significance of being identified with the church that the New Testament speaks of. As I mentioned earlier, for example, the “churches of Galatia” in the first century unquestionably were “churches of Christ” in the same sense as stated in <font color=blue>Romans 16:16—“… The churches of Christ salute you.”</font>

Furthermore, I would like to re-emphasize that being able to identify [with] the church spoken of in the New Testament would not be a problem in this 21st century … IF NONE of over a thousand religious Catholic and Protestant sects and denominations worldwide existed. But, as you and I know, that is not the case.

Tom, you may continue to esteem Max Lucado as much as you like. I would not even doubt the possibility of Max’s Oak Hills Church in Texas surpassing the 16,000 membership count of Rick Warren’s Saddleback Community Church in California. At this juncture, there’s no point in bringing up the adulterated gospel he is teaching—you know it. But the point is that the truth should never be compromised for the purpose of filling up a big auditorium to full capacity—either in church identification or in doctrine.

Tom, I don’t recall you ever mentioning the “name” of the local church you are currently affiliated with. But may I ask you this. If Rick Warren’s Saddleback Community Church were located in your city, would you unhesitatingly leave the church “of Christ” in ________ [if that’s still the case] and become a member of Rick Warren’s church?

Donnie
Last edited by ConcernedMembers on April 11th, 2004, 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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