Lessons to Fortify Us Against the Change Movement

Lessons to Fortify Us Against the Change Movement

Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

March 4th, 2006, 11:08 pm #1

This thread presents essays by John Waddey about the Change Movement. They are taken from his on-going series A Lesson to Fortify Your Faith.

<font size=4>LOOKING AHEAD TO THE YEAR 2050</font>

Futurists study the past and present and tell us what the future might possibly be. They analyze trends and predict future changes, for good or bad. Wise businessmen consider such projections when investing for the future of their companies. I am no prophet, but I invite you to take an imaginary trip to a large American city in the year 2050. Our purpose will be to visit a Church of Christ and worship with them. Given current trends and projections at work among our brethren here are some things you might possibly find.

You may find a woman teaching the adult Bible class, preaching or even serving as an elder. Already professors are telling us that we have misunderstood the verses that seem to forbid such. They tell us we have too long denied our Christian ladies the privilege to use their talents to the glory of God. A few trend-setter congregations already have their women teachers and preachers.

The minister or ministeress may well be adorned in a lovely clerical robe. Our objections to such practices will likely have been determined by change agents to be based only on our rural, frontier heritage and our narrow, unscholarly approach to interpreting the Bible. The preacher may well be identified as pastor of the church and have "Rev." affixed to his or her name. They would argue that such matters are too trivial to dispute over and our refusal to use them was just our tradition.

There might even be a guest speaker from the Catholic, Baptist or Pentecostal church. They will no longer think of the church as an exclusive body. To them all denominations are equally pleasing to God.

You may well find the service to be unfamiliar in tone and content. There could be a dramatic presentation, and possibly even an "interpretive spiritual dance." The service would likely be demonstrative with bodily gyrations, shouting and applause. The music likely will be contemporary and may well include instrumental accompaniment from a piano or organ and possibly a rock band. Rather than join in congregational singing, you will be expected to sit quietly and listen as the soloist or praise group present their performance. The choir will then sing their selection and finally the congregation will be invited to join in a hymn or two. Such features are already being discussed and rationalized and some are already implementing some or all of them.

The lesson of the hour may well consist of a brief story or parable related by a clergyman or woman. Little emphasis will be placed on the Bible, as "proof-texting" will have long ago been rejected. Nothing will be presented as absolutely right or wrong. Postmodern thinking will not allow such utterances. Doctrine will have no place in the lesson. Promoters of change concluded that doctrine doesn't matter and that it is doctrine that makes people disagree and divide. The story will come to a close with a call for those who want a relationship with Jesus to come and be saved by grace through faith. They will be led to pray the sinner's prayer and receive the blessing. Baptism will no longer be considered as essential to salvation since they have concluded that obedience plays no part in salvation. It may however possibly be retained for church membership.

Communion might be observed following dismissal. It will be offered in the fellowship hall, during the pot luck meal. It will be a joyful and festive celebration of the good life they have in Christ. This is already being advocated by some. There may also be a Saturday evening service with Communion for those who do not wish to assemble on the Lord's Day. The leading lights of our change movement have rejected the idea of a Biblical pattern that must be followed. They have concluded that Communion can be observed on other occasions than the first day of the week. The prevailing thinking in that element of the church is that we must give the people what they want if we expect to get them into our churches. Since other religious bodies are doing this with success, we would be foolish not to follow their suit.

Bible classes will offer alternatives for every taste. There well may be a class devoted to reviewing contemporary books, or perhaps classic literature with relevant themes. Others may offer health tips for Christians, or the challenges of aging. There could be an armchair travelers class which views travel logs. A class could study classic movies and television shows. There could be arts and crafts. A course in social activism might cover such topics as ecology, AIDS ministry, the challenges of leisure time, money management and other timely subjects. It will truly be a "felt needs" program. For those who are elderly and traditional in their thinking they will still have a few classes that study the Bible.

If you are currently 50 or older, and a faithful Christian, very likely you would be totally revulsed at such an incredible situation. Your blood pressure would rise and your stomach would churn. You probably would get up and walk out. I would! Such a group would be a church of Christ in name only, even if they were directly descended from a faithful church of today. If you searched hard enough you likely could find a congregation that would still worship and serve in the way you are familiar with. It probably would be small in size and likely on the outskirts of town or in a rural setting.

You may be wagging your head and saying "You are crazy! Such is so farfetched as to be insane." But my dear friend, the things I am seeing as future possibilities are already being done here and there by those who are clamoring for change. The section on the Bible classes is straight from the bulletins of local denominational churches. Our change agents are following these churches in all other areas and it is only reasonable to think they will embrace such programs as well. Remember, "Some shall fall away from the faith" (I Tim. 4:1).

As in all futuristic projects factors may arise that will nullify the prediction. For example if our brethren should wake up and realize just how wrong and destructive the change movement is; if they should show the promoters of change the door; if they should repent and turn back to God with humble and obedient hearts; we might well see Christ's church, as we have known her, surviving and flourishing in that distant day. May God grant that this be the case.

John Waddey

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Lee Gullism
Lee Gullism

March 9th, 2006, 8:41 pm #2

Goodness Mr. Waddey, you certainly paint a grim picture of the future. Mine is a little different. Go on a different journey if you will.

On this trip, we see the church in 2050 as well. However, in this one, the members are SMILING! They are glad to see each other. They are not suspicious of every word or thought. They aren't worried that a Baptist, Presbyterian, or Methodist may be undercover in their midst. They actually hope that they ARE there to fellowship in the unity of the saving power of... you guessed it! Jesus Christ!

The service isn't a funeral, but a celebration. It focuses on a tomb that is empty. They are joyful and clapping and singing, and yes, even dancing. The whole time being... you probably didn't guess this one... reverent and respectful of God.

The sermon is actually helpful to their day to day life. It focuses on a tomb that is empty. It also shows that since the tomb is empty, we can have life, and have it to the full.

I agree, the church will be different in 2050. Where we disagree is that instead of trying to stop the change, I believe we better get busy helping it!
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Joined: September 18th, 2005, 4:26 am

March 9th, 2006, 9:54 pm #3

1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

2 Timothy 3:1-9 KJV.
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Ken Sublett
Ken Sublett

March 10th, 2006, 1:53 am #4

Goodness Mr. Waddey, you certainly paint a grim picture of the future. Mine is a little different. Go on a different journey if you will.

On this trip, we see the church in 2050 as well. However, in this one, the members are SMILING! They are glad to see each other. They are not suspicious of every word or thought. They aren't worried that a Baptist, Presbyterian, or Methodist may be undercover in their midst. They actually hope that they ARE there to fellowship in the unity of the saving power of... you guessed it! Jesus Christ!

The service isn't a funeral, but a celebration. It focuses on a tomb that is empty. They are joyful and clapping and singing, and yes, even dancing. The whole time being... you probably didn't guess this one... reverent and respectful of God.

The sermon is actually helpful to their day to day life. It focuses on a tomb that is empty. It also shows that since the tomb is empty, we can have life, and have it to the full.

I agree, the church will be different in 2050. Where we disagree is that instead of trying to stop the change, I believe we better get busy helping it!
John MARKED you in Revelation 18 and Plato in the Republic warns:

<font color=blue>"Now when a man abandons himself to music to play upon him and pour into his soul as it were through the funnel of his ears those sweet, soft, and dirge-like airs of which we were just now speaking, and gives his entire time to the warblings and blandishments of song,
  • the first result is that the principle of high spirit (temperament), if he had it, is softened like iron and is made useful instead of useless and brittle.

    But when he continues the practice without remission and is spellbound,

    the effect begins to be that he melts and liquefies till he completely dissolves away his spirit,


    cuts out as it were the very sinews of his soul and makes of himself a 'feeble warrior.' "Assuredly," he said.

    "And if," said I, "he has to begin with a spiritless nature he reaches this result quickly, but if high-spirited, by weakening the spirit he makes it unstable.
</font>The world has seen the "them" come and go but since they are SPIRIT NEUTERED they collect their own kind and like the Shakers just die out.

Heredotus explains how Cyrus was told how to neuter captives:
  • <font color=blue>Grant, then, forgiveness to the Lydians, and to make sure of their never rebelling against thee, or alarming thee more, send and forbid them to keep any weapons of war, command them to wear tunics under their cloaks, and to put buskins upon their legs,

    and make them bring up their sons to cithern-playing (Kitharizein), singing (psallein), and shop-keeping (Hucksterism). (Or translated lyre playing and harping which is redundant)

    So wilt thou soon see them become women instead of men,
    and there will be no more fear of their REVOLTING from thee."
    </font>
And Jesus agreed with Plato by identifying His generation as every generation where the love for the Word -- as it has been delivered -- has been lost and can never be recovered. Never:
  • <font color=blue>But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets (public places to attract the masses) , and calling unto their fellows, Matthew 11:16

    And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented. Matthew 11:17 </font>
Jesus was speaking of the PERVERTED clergy who continued the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION where they did music and sex and perversion RIGHT THERE IN THE TEMPLE.

Lee, you have been TAKEN CAPTIVE and your wife (or significant other) in my understanding has grounds for divorce--quickly. According to all of the Biblical and general understanding that when the MUSICATORS go into the places where they understand their gods to be they are worthy of instant execution. Even in Jezebel's temple no one got so vile. Even OUTSIDE they were considered the HAREM OF THE GODS. Cheap sex change, huh! When God pours out His WRATH them meaning is ORGE or turning people into BUFFOONS who were the harem of the HARP PLUCKERS.
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

March 10th, 2006, 3:03 am #5

This thread presents essays by John Waddey about the Change Movement. They are taken from his on-going series A Lesson to Fortify Your Faith.

<font size=4>LOOKING AHEAD TO THE YEAR 2050</font>

Futurists study the past and present and tell us what the future might possibly be. They analyze trends and predict future changes, for good or bad. Wise businessmen consider such projections when investing for the future of their companies. I am no prophet, but I invite you to take an imaginary trip to a large American city in the year 2050. Our purpose will be to visit a Church of Christ and worship with them. Given current trends and projections at work among our brethren here are some things you might possibly find.

You may find a woman teaching the adult Bible class, preaching or even serving as an elder. Already professors are telling us that we have misunderstood the verses that seem to forbid such. They tell us we have too long denied our Christian ladies the privilege to use their talents to the glory of God. A few trend-setter congregations already have their women teachers and preachers.

The minister or ministeress may well be adorned in a lovely clerical robe. Our objections to such practices will likely have been determined by change agents to be based only on our rural, frontier heritage and our narrow, unscholarly approach to interpreting the Bible. The preacher may well be identified as pastor of the church and have "Rev." affixed to his or her name. They would argue that such matters are too trivial to dispute over and our refusal to use them was just our tradition.

There might even be a guest speaker from the Catholic, Baptist or Pentecostal church. They will no longer think of the church as an exclusive body. To them all denominations are equally pleasing to God.

You may well find the service to be unfamiliar in tone and content. There could be a dramatic presentation, and possibly even an "interpretive spiritual dance." The service would likely be demonstrative with bodily gyrations, shouting and applause. The music likely will be contemporary and may well include instrumental accompaniment from a piano or organ and possibly a rock band. Rather than join in congregational singing, you will be expected to sit quietly and listen as the soloist or praise group present their performance. The choir will then sing their selection and finally the congregation will be invited to join in a hymn or two. Such features are already being discussed and rationalized and some are already implementing some or all of them.

The lesson of the hour may well consist of a brief story or parable related by a clergyman or woman. Little emphasis will be placed on the Bible, as "proof-texting" will have long ago been rejected. Nothing will be presented as absolutely right or wrong. Postmodern thinking will not allow such utterances. Doctrine will have no place in the lesson. Promoters of change concluded that doctrine doesn't matter and that it is doctrine that makes people disagree and divide. The story will come to a close with a call for those who want a relationship with Jesus to come and be saved by grace through faith. They will be led to pray the sinner's prayer and receive the blessing. Baptism will no longer be considered as essential to salvation since they have concluded that obedience plays no part in salvation. It may however possibly be retained for church membership.

Communion might be observed following dismissal. It will be offered in the fellowship hall, during the pot luck meal. It will be a joyful and festive celebration of the good life they have in Christ. This is already being advocated by some. There may also be a Saturday evening service with Communion for those who do not wish to assemble on the Lord's Day. The leading lights of our change movement have rejected the idea of a Biblical pattern that must be followed. They have concluded that Communion can be observed on other occasions than the first day of the week. The prevailing thinking in that element of the church is that we must give the people what they want if we expect to get them into our churches. Since other religious bodies are doing this with success, we would be foolish not to follow their suit.

Bible classes will offer alternatives for every taste. There well may be a class devoted to reviewing contemporary books, or perhaps classic literature with relevant themes. Others may offer health tips for Christians, or the challenges of aging. There could be an armchair travelers class which views travel logs. A class could study classic movies and television shows. There could be arts and crafts. A course in social activism might cover such topics as ecology, AIDS ministry, the challenges of leisure time, money management and other timely subjects. It will truly be a "felt needs" program. For those who are elderly and traditional in their thinking they will still have a few classes that study the Bible.

If you are currently 50 or older, and a faithful Christian, very likely you would be totally revulsed at such an incredible situation. Your blood pressure would rise and your stomach would churn. You probably would get up and walk out. I would! Such a group would be a church of Christ in name only, even if they were directly descended from a faithful church of today. If you searched hard enough you likely could find a congregation that would still worship and serve in the way you are familiar with. It probably would be small in size and likely on the outskirts of town or in a rural setting.

You may be wagging your head and saying "You are crazy! Such is so farfetched as to be insane." But my dear friend, the things I am seeing as future possibilities are already being done here and there by those who are clamoring for change. The section on the Bible classes is straight from the bulletins of local denominational churches. Our change agents are following these churches in all other areas and it is only reasonable to think they will embrace such programs as well. Remember, "Some shall fall away from the faith" (I Tim. 4:1).

As in all futuristic projects factors may arise that will nullify the prediction. For example if our brethren should wake up and realize just how wrong and destructive the change movement is; if they should show the promoters of change the door; if they should repent and turn back to God with humble and obedient hearts; we might well see Christ's church, as we have known her, surviving and flourishing in that distant day. May God grant that this be the case.

John Waddey
To recap, here’s what John Waddey predicts is in store for the church of Christ, given the present trends from the Change Movement:
  • Women serving as teachers, church officers, and ministers
  • Ministers wearing clerical robes and the title of “Reverend”
  • Ecumenical services with guest speakers from different denominations
  • Dramatic presentations and interpretive spiritual dancing
  • Bodily gyrations, shouting, and applause
  • Contemporary rock music from a praise band and soloists; fewer congregational hymns
  • Message consisting of brief stories and anecdotes
  • Rejection of biblical doctrine and Bible as proof-text
  • Rejection of absolutes of right and wrong
  • Salvation by grace through faith alone; baptism rejected as essential for salvation
  • Communion served as a fellowship meal outside the worship service or on days other than the first day of the week
  • Alternative services to those on the first day of the week
  • Classes offering a host of worldly subjects to meet “felt needs”
I noticed that in “Lee Gullism’s” (legalism) haste to bash Waddey’s essay, he did not deny any of the predictions above. Moreover, Gull’s futuristic church consists of smiling, carefree people who embrace ecumenical beliefs; who not only sing during the worship service but clap and dance (make commotion); who demand motivational speeches that focus on managing day-to-day problems and worries instead of expository presentations of biblical concepts; who see the empty tomb as a license to “live life to the fullest.” Thus, Gull’s futuristic church focuses on living it up and having a good time through fun, games, entertainment, and “freedom” to do as we please.

It is significant that Gull says nothing about his futuristic church making a genuine commitment to follow faithfully the commands of Christ in the Gospels and through the apostolic epistles, veering neither to the left hand nor to the right. Instead, we get the impression that people will come to Gull’s church to have God fill them up, satisfy them, and meet their needs; in other words, to get from God. With this kind of selfish mindset, it is difficult, perhaps even impossible, to give to God, not just through our finances, but through our whole Christian life. The goal of the Christian life is to please God/Christ by walking the narrow path through complete obedience to His Word, not in perpetually seeking a good time.

With Gull’s brand of futuristic church, however, Waddey’s predictions are right on course.


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J Mercer
J Mercer

March 10th, 2006, 3:06 pm #6

Goodness Mr. Waddey, you certainly paint a grim picture of the future. Mine is a little different. Go on a different journey if you will.

On this trip, we see the church in 2050 as well. However, in this one, the members are SMILING! They are glad to see each other. They are not suspicious of every word or thought. They aren't worried that a Baptist, Presbyterian, or Methodist may be undercover in their midst. They actually hope that they ARE there to fellowship in the unity of the saving power of... you guessed it! Jesus Christ!

The service isn't a funeral, but a celebration. It focuses on a tomb that is empty. They are joyful and clapping and singing, and yes, even dancing. The whole time being... you probably didn't guess this one... reverent and respectful of God.

The sermon is actually helpful to their day to day life. It focuses on a tomb that is empty. It also shows that since the tomb is empty, we can have life, and have it to the full.

I agree, the church will be different in 2050. Where we disagree is that instead of trying to stop the change, I believe we better get busy helping it!
I agree w/ "Our Future is so Bright!" What you describe is exactly what a church should be. We should be rejoicing and praising God together as a body of Christ! The Gospel is for everyone not just a select group of Pharisees who claim they are the only one's that are right and the only one's going to heaven! How narrow minded... No wonder people from the hard-line CofC are leaving for more spirit-filled churches! You hard-liners are a spiritualy dead people; that's why you are shrinking and not growing. That is why God is not blessing you with growth in your congregations. You serve man and not God! Get a clue! Read the Gospels, Jesus condemned Pharisees more than any other people because of their legalistic and haughty ways, and self imposed rules. Christianity is about a relationship with God, not about rules. To be more concerned about whether or not there's music in a church service, or if they are conducting the service the way you CofC people have determined it should be is the most unbiblical view a person could have. You drive people away from Christ because of all YOUR rules - rules never mentioned in the New Testament - EVER! Oh, how you will answer to God when he asks you what you did to enlarge His Kingdom and all you have to say is... I didn't because I was in the business of driving people away from you; I let them know all about my rules and regulations and then imagine that - they didn't want any part of being a Christian. I continually told everyone how wrong they were; I contunially attacked everyone and every church outside the CofC. I was in the business of judging - I guess I forgot you were the one who was supposed to do that... I guess I thought I was God. . .
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Ken Sublett
Ken Sublett

March 10th, 2006, 5:52 pm #7

It looks like all of the queerling-singiling-thinglings live in Marina Del Rey.

I think you may be MARDUK, you remember, the "god" with 50 names.

When Paul POINTS to Eve to OUTLAW female performers he knew LOTS MORE than you.

In the Greek world it was NOT SCRIPTURAL for prostitutes or Sodomite PERFORMERS to perform other than in the CLOSED "churches" called symposia.

Females could not PERFORM in the theater even. Therefore, they USED female impersonators. Plato warned that this MARKS or MANUFACTURES "gender bleed." No wat i mean?

Inanna was an EVE character who is also ZOE in Greek. She got the father god drunk and STOLE the ME which you will FIND in the end-time Babylon Whore "wurshup-uh" defined in Revelation 18. Of course, this means that all of the LAMPSTANDS have been removed and the PERFORMERS will go back into hell from which they were resurrected. So, let's PRETEND that you are a REAL person rather than a Person Impersonator and listen to the ZOE meaning.

"My father has given me the me:
He gave me the high priesthood.
He gave me godship.
He gave me the noble, enduring crown.
He gave me the throne of kingship.

He gave me the noble sceptre.
He gave me the staff.
He gave me the holy measuring rod and line.
He gave me the high throne.
He gave me shepardship.
He gave me kingship.

He gave me the princess priestess.
He gave me the divine queen priestess.
He gave me the incantation priest.
He gave me the noble priest.
He gave me the libations priest.

He gave me truth.
He gave me decent into the underworld.
He gave me ascent from the underworls.
He gave me the kurgurra.
  • <font color=blue>The kurgarru, the assinu, and the kulu'u performed plays, music, dances, and games during rituals</font>
He gave me the dagger and sword.
He gave me the black garment.
He gave me the colorful garment.
He gave me the loosening of hair.
He gave me the binding of hair.

He gave me the standard.
He gave me the quiver.
He gave me the art of lovemaking.
He gave me the art of kissing the phallus.
He gave me the art of prostitution.
He gave me the art of speeding.

He gave me the art of forthright speech.
He gave me the art of slanderous speech.
He gave me the art of adorning speech.
He gave me the cult of the prostitute.
He gave me the holy tavern.

He gave me the holy shrine.
He gave me the holy priestess of heaven.
He gave me the resounding musical instrument.
He gave me the art of song.
He gave me the art of the elder.

He gave me the art of the hero.
He gave me the art of power.
He gave me the art of treachery.
He gave me the art of straightforwardness.
He gave me the plundering of cities.
He gave me the setting up of lamentations.
He gave me the rejoicing of the heart.

He gave me deceit.
He gave me the rebellious land.
He gave me the art of kindness.
He gave me travel.
He gave me the secure dwelling place.

He gave me the craft of the woodworker.
He gave me the craft of the copper worker.
He gave me the craft of the scribe.
He gave me the craft of the smith.
He gave me the craft of the leather maker.
He gave me the craft of the fuller.
He gave me the craft of the builder.
He gave me the craft of the reed worker.

He gave me the perceptive ear.
He gave me the power of attention.
He gave me the holy purification rites.
He gave me the feeding pen.
He gave me the heaping up of hot coals.
He gave me the sheepfold.
He gave me fear.
He gave me consternation.
He gave me dismay.

He gave me the bitter-toothed lion.
He gave me the kindling fire.
He gave me the putting out of fire.
He gave me the weary arm.
He gave me the assembled family.
He gave me procreation.

He gave me the kindling of strife.
He gave me counseling.
He gave me heart-soothing.
He gave me the giving of judgements.
He gave me the making of decisions."

ALL performers as Female Impersonators (easy for some) were HAPPY to perform and be USED as the HAREM OF THE GODS.

That's WHY they need all of those PROFESSIONAL "ministers" (high cost slaves). Which MINISTRY do YOU get used by the MOTHER GODDESS FOR?
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Joined: September 18th, 2005, 4:26 am

March 11th, 2006, 3:41 am #8

I agree w/ "Our Future is so Bright!" What you describe is exactly what a church should be. We should be rejoicing and praising God together as a body of Christ! The Gospel is for everyone not just a select group of Pharisees who claim they are the only one's that are right and the only one's going to heaven! How narrow minded... No wonder people from the hard-line CofC are leaving for more spirit-filled churches! You hard-liners are a spiritualy dead people; that's why you are shrinking and not growing. That is why God is not blessing you with growth in your congregations. You serve man and not God! Get a clue! Read the Gospels, Jesus condemned Pharisees more than any other people because of their legalistic and haughty ways, and self imposed rules. Christianity is about a relationship with God, not about rules. To be more concerned about whether or not there's music in a church service, or if they are conducting the service the way you CofC people have determined it should be is the most unbiblical view a person could have. You drive people away from Christ because of all YOUR rules - rules never mentioned in the New Testament - EVER! Oh, how you will answer to God when he asks you what you did to enlarge His Kingdom and all you have to say is... I didn't because I was in the business of driving people away from you; I let them know all about my rules and regulations and then imagine that - they didn't want any part of being a Christian. I continually told everyone how wrong they were; I contunially attacked everyone and every church outside the CofC. I was in the business of judging - I guess I forgot you were the one who was supposed to do that... I guess I thought I was God. . .
... maybe you STILL think you are!

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; - 1 Timothy 4:1.
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Sethy
Sethy

March 11th, 2006, 9:20 am #9

To recap, here’s what John Waddey predicts is in store for the church of Christ, given the present trends from the Change Movement:
  • Women serving as teachers, church officers, and ministers
  • Ministers wearing clerical robes and the title of “Reverend”
  • Ecumenical services with guest speakers from different denominations
  • Dramatic presentations and interpretive spiritual dancing
  • Bodily gyrations, shouting, and applause
  • Contemporary rock music from a praise band and soloists; fewer congregational hymns
  • Message consisting of brief stories and anecdotes
  • Rejection of biblical doctrine and Bible as proof-text
  • Rejection of absolutes of right and wrong
  • Salvation by grace through faith alone; baptism rejected as essential for salvation
  • Communion served as a fellowship meal outside the worship service or on days other than the first day of the week
  • Alternative services to those on the first day of the week
  • Classes offering a host of worldly subjects to meet “felt needs”
I noticed that in “Lee Gullism’s” (legalism) haste to bash Waddey’s essay, he did not deny any of the predictions above. Moreover, Gull’s futuristic church consists of smiling, carefree people who embrace ecumenical beliefs; who not only sing during the worship service but clap and dance (make commotion); who demand motivational speeches that focus on managing day-to-day problems and worries instead of expository presentations of biblical concepts; who see the empty tomb as a license to “live life to the fullest.” Thus, Gull’s futuristic church focuses on living it up and having a good time through fun, games, entertainment, and “freedom” to do as we please.

It is significant that Gull says nothing about his futuristic church making a genuine commitment to follow faithfully the commands of Christ in the Gospels and through the apostolic epistles, veering neither to the left hand nor to the right. Instead, we get the impression that people will come to Gull’s church to have God fill them up, satisfy them, and meet their needs; in other words, to get from God. With this kind of selfish mindset, it is difficult, perhaps even impossible, to give to God, not just through our finances, but through our whole Christian life. The goal of the Christian life is to please God/Christ by walking the narrow path through complete obedience to His Word, not in perpetually seeking a good time.

With Gull’s brand of futuristic church, however, Waddey’s predictions are right on course.

I don't think that everything posted in Mr. Waddi's essay will come to be, and saying it will is very pesimistic. I do see some of it as wrong, but not going to actually come to pass. I also don't think there can be any allegation made because someone didn't deny a prediction. You can't deny something that hasn't happened yet, you can only ignore it.
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

March 11th, 2006, 7:29 pm #10

This thread presents essays by John Waddey about the Change Movement. They are taken from his on-going series A Lesson to Fortify Your Faith.

<font size=4>LOOKING AHEAD TO THE YEAR 2050</font>

Futurists study the past and present and tell us what the future might possibly be. They analyze trends and predict future changes, for good or bad. Wise businessmen consider such projections when investing for the future of their companies. I am no prophet, but I invite you to take an imaginary trip to a large American city in the year 2050. Our purpose will be to visit a Church of Christ and worship with them. Given current trends and projections at work among our brethren here are some things you might possibly find.

You may find a woman teaching the adult Bible class, preaching or even serving as an elder. Already professors are telling us that we have misunderstood the verses that seem to forbid such. They tell us we have too long denied our Christian ladies the privilege to use their talents to the glory of God. A few trend-setter congregations already have their women teachers and preachers.

The minister or ministeress may well be adorned in a lovely clerical robe. Our objections to such practices will likely have been determined by change agents to be based only on our rural, frontier heritage and our narrow, unscholarly approach to interpreting the Bible. The preacher may well be identified as pastor of the church and have "Rev." affixed to his or her name. They would argue that such matters are too trivial to dispute over and our refusal to use them was just our tradition.

There might even be a guest speaker from the Catholic, Baptist or Pentecostal church. They will no longer think of the church as an exclusive body. To them all denominations are equally pleasing to God.

You may well find the service to be unfamiliar in tone and content. There could be a dramatic presentation, and possibly even an "interpretive spiritual dance." The service would likely be demonstrative with bodily gyrations, shouting and applause. The music likely will be contemporary and may well include instrumental accompaniment from a piano or organ and possibly a rock band. Rather than join in congregational singing, you will be expected to sit quietly and listen as the soloist or praise group present their performance. The choir will then sing their selection and finally the congregation will be invited to join in a hymn or two. Such features are already being discussed and rationalized and some are already implementing some or all of them.

The lesson of the hour may well consist of a brief story or parable related by a clergyman or woman. Little emphasis will be placed on the Bible, as "proof-texting" will have long ago been rejected. Nothing will be presented as absolutely right or wrong. Postmodern thinking will not allow such utterances. Doctrine will have no place in the lesson. Promoters of change concluded that doctrine doesn't matter and that it is doctrine that makes people disagree and divide. The story will come to a close with a call for those who want a relationship with Jesus to come and be saved by grace through faith. They will be led to pray the sinner's prayer and receive the blessing. Baptism will no longer be considered as essential to salvation since they have concluded that obedience plays no part in salvation. It may however possibly be retained for church membership.

Communion might be observed following dismissal. It will be offered in the fellowship hall, during the pot luck meal. It will be a joyful and festive celebration of the good life they have in Christ. This is already being advocated by some. There may also be a Saturday evening service with Communion for those who do not wish to assemble on the Lord's Day. The leading lights of our change movement have rejected the idea of a Biblical pattern that must be followed. They have concluded that Communion can be observed on other occasions than the first day of the week. The prevailing thinking in that element of the church is that we must give the people what they want if we expect to get them into our churches. Since other religious bodies are doing this with success, we would be foolish not to follow their suit.

Bible classes will offer alternatives for every taste. There well may be a class devoted to reviewing contemporary books, or perhaps classic literature with relevant themes. Others may offer health tips for Christians, or the challenges of aging. There could be an armchair travelers class which views travel logs. A class could study classic movies and television shows. There could be arts and crafts. A course in social activism might cover such topics as ecology, AIDS ministry, the challenges of leisure time, money management and other timely subjects. It will truly be a "felt needs" program. For those who are elderly and traditional in their thinking they will still have a few classes that study the Bible.

If you are currently 50 or older, and a faithful Christian, very likely you would be totally revulsed at such an incredible situation. Your blood pressure would rise and your stomach would churn. You probably would get up and walk out. I would! Such a group would be a church of Christ in name only, even if they were directly descended from a faithful church of today. If you searched hard enough you likely could find a congregation that would still worship and serve in the way you are familiar with. It probably would be small in size and likely on the outskirts of town or in a rural setting.

You may be wagging your head and saying "You are crazy! Such is so farfetched as to be insane." But my dear friend, the things I am seeing as future possibilities are already being done here and there by those who are clamoring for change. The section on the Bible classes is straight from the bulletins of local denominational churches. Our change agents are following these churches in all other areas and it is only reasonable to think they will embrace such programs as well. Remember, "Some shall fall away from the faith" (I Tim. 4:1).

As in all futuristic projects factors may arise that will nullify the prediction. For example if our brethren should wake up and realize just how wrong and destructive the change movement is; if they should show the promoters of change the door; if they should repent and turn back to God with humble and obedient hearts; we might well see Christ's church, as we have known her, surviving and flourishing in that distant day. May God grant that this be the case.

John Waddey
<font size=4>LOYALTY TO CHRIST AND HIS CHURCH</font>


When Jesus said to the saints in Smyrna, "Be thou faithful unto death" he was calling for their loyalty, even in the face of great hardship and suffering. For their loyalty they would receive "the crown of life" (Rev. 2:10). Loyalty: some profess it, some practice it. Only the latter can always be counted on. A. P. Gouthey wrote, "If virtues be graded, loyalty I think, would stand near the top of the list. At any rate, no leader can demonstrate his full capabilities without it." John Ruskin said, "The noblest word in the catalogue of social virtues is 'Loyalty.'"

Loyalty is expected in many areas of life: marriage, family, friends, nation, and employment. God also expects loyalty of his children, the subjects of his kingdom. We must be loyal to God, his Son, his Church and his Word. Loyalty to the church includes the universal church of Christ (I Pet. 2:17) scattered throughout the world and the congregation of which we are members.

Many of those who now lead our congregations came into the church in the days of her prosperity. They fought no battles, knew no hardship, endured no hateful scorn. They made few sacrifices for their faith. They inherited congregations long established and facilities built and paid for by others. So also is the case with the administrators and teachers in our Christian Schools. Loyalty or the lack thereof is not easily detected in times of peace when all is well. It is in times of conflict that men's loyalty or lack thereof become evident. Now a time of testing has come upon us. Living in a society that has been coopted by alien philosophies and an anti-Christian value system, many members of the church have been influenced by the wisdom of the world. They are embolden to question every aspect of the faith, worship and practice of the church of which Christ is head (Eph. 1:22). Christian leaders who have attained worldly standing cast reproach on the church. They ridicule her doctrines and ancient forms of worship. Abandoning the sacred canons of Scripture, they look to the world of commerce to find new and exciting ways to enlarge their congregations. They loudly protest that they are faithful members of the church of Christ, but their actions demonstrate their disloyalty. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of little-known preachers and elders stand like opportunistic politicians, waiting to see which way the wind is blowing before they declare themselves. They can follow the promoters of change if the tide goes their way, or they can hold to the old ways if that is to their advantage. Such wind-watchers are not loyal servants of Christ! They are serving their own interests. "Loyalty is one thing a leader cannot do without. It is as priceless as it is rare. It creates a quiet confidence in the heart of many leaders and is the assurance of success in any enterprise" (A. P. Gouthey).

Those who have already turned their backs on the church, as they seek standing among the evangelical denominations, protest that they are not disloyal to Christ; that they are only tired of the church. Although it may sound redundant, they must be reminded that you cannot be loyal to a king and disloyal to his kingdom! The church of Christ is the kingdom of Christ (Matt. 16:18). It is his body (Eph. 1:22). Acts of disloyalty toward the church of Christ manifest disloyalty to the Master himself.

"Loyalty to God is alone fundamental. Feelings, words, deeds, must be beads strung on the string of duty...say you ever and only, 'Lo I come to do Thy will, O my God.' Out of that dutiful root grows the beautiful life, the life radically and radiantly true to God, the only life that can be lived in both worlds" (Maltbie Babcock). In this mortal struggle for the heart and soul of the church we need the conviction expressed in the following worlds of Will Shakespeare, "Master go on, and I will follow thee, To the last gasp, with truth and loyalty." Only then will we prevail and the church we love be spared from desolation. May it be said of us as Alexander Pope said of a departed comrade, "friend to truth! Of soul sincere, In action faithful, and in honor clear; Who broke no promise, served no private end, Who gained no title, and who lost no friend." In a word, he was loyal!

John Waddey
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