Motivated Change Agents Challenging Elders of the Church

Motivated Change Agents Challenging Elders of the Church

Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

June 16th, 2006, 3:33 am #1

<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>In one of John Waddey’s articles, “Wise Leadership Needed in the Current Conflict,” are these words:
  • “A struggle is underway for the heart and soul of churches of Christ. A small band of well-trained and highly motivated agents of change are challenging preachers and elders of churches of Christ for the leadership of their flocks. While the champions of change likely cannot claim over three hundred congregations under their banner at this time, they do control some of our most prestigious churches and schools. Thus they are in position to shape the thinking of a multitude of young people, including young preachers, who will soon be taking their new ideas into more congregations. In too many cases, leaders of local congregations are failing to meet the challenge of these false teachers.

    … In the months and years ahead a thousand battles will be fought as faithful Christians find their congregations being infiltrated by those who wish to lead them away from the path laid out by Jesus.
He quotes—“The ability to keep a cool head in an emergency, maintain poise in the midst of excitement, and to refuse to be stampeded are true marks of leadership" (R. Shannon).

He concludes his article as follows: “Leaders of even temperament will not despair, nor will they overreact. They will not resort to unethical methods. Nor will they sacrifice truth for tranquility. They will not be stampeded into unhealthy change nor stubbornly refuse to accept that which is right and beneficial for the congregation. May God grant such wisdom to all who lead his people.”</font>
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

June 16th, 2006, 3:46 am #2

<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>I would like to share with you the response that I have received recently from an elder that I’m in correspondence with:</font>
  • <font face=courier>-----Original Message-----
    From: __________ [[url=mailto:________@yahoo.com]________@yahoo.com[/url]]
    Sent: Monday, June 12, 2006 10:04 AM
    To: Donnie Cruz
    Subject: Re: </font>

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

    Thanks for the kind words. I have been reading the CM web-site for years now. … I have not added to the discussions … most likely because you and others have done a great job of teaching and refuting the change agents and those who are ignorant of the change agent's goals, and methods. I’m just a regular guy and still have a lot of study ahead of me….

    I am an Elder at the Lord's church in _________, Texas. We are a small congregation of about 100, but even in the small towns the change agents have tested the water. We had/have a group that was pushing for change. They followed the pattern you and others have exposed and we put a halt to it when we recognized it. With us they tied their attendance with what they wanted changed. "We will be more active on Sunday night if we have a singing night instead of preaching." So we had a singing night and they did not come. "We will be more active if you sing these new songs." So we sang new songs, but they would not fellowship with us on Sunday night. "We will be more active if we get these new song books." So we got new song books, (and gave up some great songs), but they would not fellowship with us on Sunday night. This went on over several years and during several different groups of Elders. They never planned to be more active; they just used it as a ruse to push for changes. Amazing, is it not, that those who struggle with attendance always want to lead the un-enlightened into greater spirituality.

    Thanks in great part to the CM web-site we finally caught on. Now we have a tin ear for what ever they want to change. Now some have given up on "enlightening us" and are driving 100 miles to attend a church that has already succumbed to the change movement. Interestingly "their fellowship" with us was contingent upon us changing. So much for the "unity plea" so often claimed by the change agents.

    Honestly I do not think the change agents here see themselves as a part of this great movement. I am sure they have not been to any seminars to learn how to do it. They have just read the books and bought into the ideas. I could be wrong. They do however look at us as "a bunch of old sticks in the mud."

    One member, who has removed himself from our fellowship, is highly intelligent. He has been fixed upon a couple of positions that forced us to remove him from any public role. Those positions are women in worship (very common among the change agents) and teaching Christ is not God. Have you run into this before with the change agents? Any thoughts would be welcome.

    I have been spreading the word about the CM web-site and about change agents in general. My thanks go to God and to you for the work you have done, and are still doing. May God bless you and your family, and keep His church unspotted from the world. I will help in any way I can to keep it so.

    In Christ,

    ______ [Signed________</font>
<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>John Waddey continues—“Only leaders with ‘cool heads’ and spiritual wisdom will be able to excise the problem without disrupting and harming the body."</font>
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HER
HER

June 19th, 2006, 5:07 pm #3

Donnie,

So this elder (who does seem to have a Christian heart), allows that over several years and multiple elders, his congregation has sung on Sunday nights (once?), added a few different songs, and bought new song books.

Doesn't seem like much change agent effort was spent there. If those new-fangled ideas were change agent agenda items, does his congregation still do them? If so, why? Have they bought a new supply of their "old" song books?

I like his observation that not everyone that prefers something different in worship is a school-trained, conference-attending change agent. Some folks simply don't see worship the same way. He has handled the current bubba correctly.

All in all, he doesn't seem to be a bad guy. Well, except for that publishing CM all over the place.

HER
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

June 20th, 2006, 8:14 am #4

<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>In one of John Waddey’s articles, “Wise Leadership Needed in the Current Conflict,” are these words:
  • “A struggle is underway for the heart and soul of churches of Christ. A small band of well-trained and highly motivated agents of change are challenging preachers and elders of churches of Christ for the leadership of their flocks. While the champions of change likely cannot claim over three hundred congregations under their banner at this time, they do control some of our most prestigious churches and schools. Thus they are in position to shape the thinking of a multitude of young people, including young preachers, who will soon be taking their new ideas into more congregations. In too many cases, leaders of local congregations are failing to meet the challenge of these false teachers.

    … In the months and years ahead a thousand battles will be fought as faithful Christians find their congregations being infiltrated by those who wish to lead them away from the path laid out by Jesus.
He quotes—“The ability to keep a cool head in an emergency, maintain poise in the midst of excitement, and to refuse to be stampeded are true marks of leadership" (R. Shannon).

He concludes his article as follows: “Leaders of even temperament will not despair, nor will they overreact. They will not resort to unethical methods. Nor will they sacrifice truth for tranquility. They will not be stampeded into unhealthy change nor stubbornly refuse to accept that which is right and beneficial for the congregation. May God grant such wisdom to all who lead his people.”</font>
<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>Dear Friend in Christ:

Please find time to read today's lesson. If you share my concern about the welfare of the Lord's church, I hope you will help by forwarding this lesson to other Christians in you email address book. A serious struggle is underway for the heart of the church. What her future will be depends on our response.

John Waddey
_____________________________________

  • <font size=5 color=black>
    PROVIDING IMMUNITY TO FADS IN WORSHIP
    </font>


    <font size=3 color=black face=times new roman>Today our congregations are troubled by preachers eager to sample anything proposed for worship that is new or different. Few members would come up with such ideas on their own. They are led astray by enterprising young preachers determined to make a name for themselves.

    There are some churches where the promoters of the change agenda cannot gain a foothold. Their schemes for change are dead on arrival. In such congregations brethren have antibodies that make them immune to the smooth and fair speech of change agents (Rom. 16:18).

    Those who receive a steady diet of meaningful Bible instruction are safe from this ailment. Knowing God's will, they can spot error, no matter how lovely it is packaged. They have no appetite for anything contrary to the Master's message for the church. They have been fed the meat of the word in the classes and sermons (Heb. 5:14). It has settled deep in the hearts and minds and they will tolerate no changes to the divine plan.

    Those whose worship experience is meaningful and genuine are not interested in the promotions of the change agenda. Where elders and preachers provide rich, spiritually uplifting worship, there is no interest in tricks and performance to give them some emotional exhilaration. They are thrilled as they lift up their voices in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (Eph. 5:19). They thrill as they are led in devout, meaningful and sincere prayers to God. They are deeply touched when they commune in memory of the death of their beloved Savior (Matt. 26:26-29). They rejoice at the privilege to give their gifts to the Provider of every good and perfect gift. They feast on well-prepared lessons, spoken with enthusiasm, love and concern. The gimmicks of the promoters of change seem foolish to them. Such things profane the holy worship they already enjoy.

    Those who enjoy in a close walk with God have no interest in artificial stimulates offered by the peddlers of change. This walk is pursued when they leave the worship assembly to live their daily lives (I John 1:7). It is presenting oneself to God as a spiritual sacrifice seven day of the week (Rom. 12:1). Those brethren who live sober, righteous and godly lives laced with prayer and devotion have the deep, meaningful relationship with the Father that satisfies their souls.

    Those who are actively involved in meaningful Christian service have no need for entertainment when they come to worship. Having experienced pure and undefiled religion in ministering to widows and orphans and in keeping themselves unspotted from the world (Jas. 1:27), they know unspeakable joy in Christ. They do good to all men, especially fellow-Christians (Gal.6:10). They are abound in the work of the Lord (I Cor. 15:58). The charades of the change agents seems like silly child's play to them.

    Those who are actively engaged in seeking and saving the lost do not need the assistance of performers in order to rejoice in the Lord (Phil. 4:4). No greater thrill or satisfaction can be known than leading a lost soul to the Master. It is much like the birth of one's child. To have witnessed the power of God and his gospel (Rom. 1:16), in transforming sinners into saints, changing those who formerly were like lions, but in Christ are like lambs, puts all the show time stuff in the shadows.

    While a few disciples might be able to find these blessings by their own initiative, most will need the guidance and leadership of godly preachers and elders, who like good shepherds lead them to the green pastures. Now is the time to take inventory and determine the spiritual status of your flock. You cannot afford to wait until the agents of change appear in your midst. Sheep will follow their shepherds, but the shepherds must lead the way. </font>
_____________________________________

John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]

Sacred Principles on Which We Stand is our latest book. It is designed to teach our brethren the basic principles of New Testament Christianity and thus fortify their faith. It contains 52 chapters with discussion questions. To order send $11.75 to Church of Christ, 12630 W. Foxfire Dr. Sun City West, AZ 85375.</font>
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Jared D.
Jared D.

October 17th, 2006, 8:13 am #5

I just wanted to state that I went to Madison C of C since I was born. I remember the day that I left and remembering seeing my grandmother mostly and the rest of my family cry. I know the devil caused this pain in my families lives. It hurts me to see the C of C have these problems. I just go and read the Bible to find the truth. I believe in the Bible and know that the Bible has not changed and will not change. I believe that clapping is a distraction to me and I read the Bible where it tells me "not to be a stumbling block" to others. I also read the Bible telling me that "worship is for Him", not for me. So saying "I feel good when I do ..." or "I think that the Bible says..." or that " I assume God wants it like...." are all the ways of the devil. Where the Bible is silent, so am I. I also believe (my opinion) that if people at Madison C of C would read and understand the Bibles teachings none of this would have ever happened. I don't go to "feel good" about me, I go to praise and worship the Lord, God Almighty who is worthy of my devotion to Him.
I really hope and pray that all that cause the problems at Madison would change their ways back to God. I can only imagion what Ira North would tell people who caused this problem and even more scarier, what God would tell these same people.
I, being of college age, know have been in false teaching by a campus minister and was able to tell thru God's word (the Bible) that this man was teaching me wrong. I find it more and more everyday that there are false teachers and misleadings of leaders. To me, this age that we live in is only getting worse or so it seems by my eyes. Not only is the goverment taking out God in lots of things, but have caused many more problems by doing this. Taking God out of schools seem to have cause: no respect for people of all ages, people not following rules, people looking for hope,joy,love, and peace in drugs and in other people, and so much more. Just to give an example, there in the state of Tennessee are people in gangs that drive with their lights off at night. Being a Christian and person wanting to help seeing cars with their lights off, makes me want to flash my lights on and off bright to tell them their lights are off. Though if I did do this, they would turn around try to run me off the road to kill me. What about sueing ? People are sueing for hot coffee, name calling, and all other kinds of things. Makes you wonder how all this could happen so fast from just a couple of years before people didn't mind to pick up people needing rides, going to help people they saw in need, no locks on doors of cars, houses, or anythings to the world we live in today. I believe it's the word of God that keep people in a flow of trust in others, respect to others, kindness, joy, hope, love, and all the great things of God.
I know I've talked about so many different things, and I hope you don't mind. I just feel (my own opinion) that people are not doing what God wants and only trying to please themselves, just like the King of England did. (made the New England Church, so that he could divorce his wife). People at Madison C of C seemed to want to do what made them "feel" closer to God, instead of reading in the Bible what God wanted and gave not only examples, but the Bible of telling us what He wanted.
Well thanks for reading this if you did. I hope all that you read, you know that I speak not of what I think of but what God says. (when I talk about the church and the Bible) If it was my choice to pick and choose who went to heaven...I would want all people to come, but 1st off, I'm not God, 2nd it's a narrow way, and 3rd not all that say "Lord, Lord" are going to make it in. So I hope that thru this, people will read and study for themselves and not take what other people say to heart until they find it in the Bible to prove what someone said.
In Him Always and Learning, Growing, and Loving Brother in Christ, Jared D.
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Chris
Chris

October 17th, 2006, 8:28 pm #6

Donnie,



I became acquainted with the Concerned Members (CM) website this past June while attending Vacation Bible School at my home congregation… The person who shared his knowledge of this site with me, to be quite honest, didn’t have much good to say about it… I visited the site simply out of curiosity and hate to admit that I have become somewhat addicted to the discussions that take place… I find myself experiencing a plethora of emotions as I read and participate in the discussions… As you know from our previous discussions, I don’t always agree with your views… I don’t question your heart or your motives… I simply believe you are so focused on exposing error that you find error in everything different from what you have traditionally done… With that in mind, let me address your latest post entitled “Providing Immunity to Fads…”



If you recall, I have posted and referenced articles from John Waddey on this site before… His articles, although basic, are thought provoking… For his ability to challenge our thinking, I applaud his efforts… However, I must admit that I am somewhat disappointed by this particular article… Here are the reasons for my disappointment:



First, I am disappointed by the fact that he makes some very harsh and serious accusations about the hearts and motives of those he has labeled “change agents.” He claims they are “eager to sample anything proposed for worship that is new or different” … and are doing it because they “are determined to make a name for themselves.”



Second, he fails to define/mention the fads he claims are being used to destroy the church of our Lord…



Third, he claims that those who receive a steady diet of meaningful Bible instruction are safe… He stated that those safe people have no appetite for anything “contrary” to the Master’s message for the church; that they will not tolerate “changes to the divine plan…” Sadly, John does not mention what these “contrary changes to the divine plan” are… I would be interested to know if these changes are those items he discussed in his article concerning the need for wisdom to discern what are and are not issues…



Fourth, he seems to indicate that he believes that those whose worship style is different than his are only doing those different “childish” things because they are interested in being entertained…



Fifth, I would be very much interested in your posting the attendance numbers for the past several years of the church where John Waddey ministers so that we can see the tremendous growth that occurs when people are actively engaged in seeking and saving the lost… I am sure that the active planting and watering of those people is being blessed by God and the increase is quite noticeable… Please post this information for us to review…



Donnie, as you and John, I am very much concerned with the church of our Lord… I am concerned about the dangers of BOTH legalism and liberalism… I am troubled by the one who seeks to abandon Biblical truth as much as I am troubled by the one who seeks to bind where God has not bound… I would be greatly appreciative for your, or John’s, contributing a list of those fads being used to change the church of our Lord and the verses that address them… I am not interested in your “it’s different than what we have traditionally done in the church of Christ” argument… Because, Donnie, how do you know that our traditional (last 100+ years style of worship) is exactly how they worshipped in the first century…
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

February 18th, 2007, 10:20 pm #7

<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>In one of John Waddey’s articles, “Wise Leadership Needed in the Current Conflict,” are these words:
  • “A struggle is underway for the heart and soul of churches of Christ. A small band of well-trained and highly motivated agents of change are challenging preachers and elders of churches of Christ for the leadership of their flocks. While the champions of change likely cannot claim over three hundred congregations under their banner at this time, they do control some of our most prestigious churches and schools. Thus they are in position to shape the thinking of a multitude of young people, including young preachers, who will soon be taking their new ideas into more congregations. In too many cases, leaders of local congregations are failing to meet the challenge of these false teachers.

    … In the months and years ahead a thousand battles will be fought as faithful Christians find their congregations being infiltrated by those who wish to lead them away from the path laid out by Jesus.
He quotes—“The ability to keep a cool head in an emergency, maintain poise in the midst of excitement, and to refuse to be stampeded are true marks of leadership" (R. Shannon).

He concludes his article as follows: “Leaders of even temperament will not despair, nor will they overreact. They will not resort to unethical methods. Nor will they sacrifice truth for tranquility. They will not be stampeded into unhealthy change nor stubbornly refuse to accept that which is right and beneficial for the congregation. May God grant such wisdom to all who lead his people.”</font>
<font face=courier>-----Original Message-----
From: fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com
On Behalf of: John Waddey
Sent: Saturday, February 17, 2007 10:59 PM
To: fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [fortify_your_faith] A Lesson to Fortify Your Faith - 2/17/07</font>

THE FOLLY OF SOWING SEED IN THE WIND

<font color=indigo face=arial> Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Today's lesson deals with a region of the kingdom where our brethren are most vulnerable. It is a fact that the promoters of change are already at work in many of our foreign mission outposts. They cannot operate without the support of churches here in the USA. Sometimes a sound church is deceived into supporting a man who is sowing the tares of error. We must be vigilant lest the enemies of Christ beguile us into supporting their destructive work. Please share this lesson with other Christians.

— John Waddey </font>

___________________________________

  • <font size=4>
    THE FOLLY OF SOWING SEED IN THE WIND
    </font>

    <font size=3 face=times new roman>In ancient times farmers sowed their grain by a method called broadcasting, scattering it over the plowed ground. Two things could defeat a farmer's hope for a bountiful crop. If he sowed his seed when a strong wind was blowing, much of it would be swept away. Or, a flock of hungry birds could quickly devour much of his seed before it had a chance to germinate. The farmer who ignored these factors would be laboring in vain. His harvest would be a disappointment.

    There is a lesson in this for those congregations that are supporting evangelistic efforts in mission fields. Sending the gospel to new fields is the duty of every congregation. It is commendable when a church commits itself to this noble endeavor. However it is possible for a church, like the foolish farmer, to sow its seed in vain.

    Simply because a brother presents himself as a missionary does not guarantee that he will faithfully sow the true gospel seed in his field. Away from the eyes of his supporters, a weak or an unfaithful worker may be tempted to compromise the message of Christ with error. Pressures of a strange and hostile spiritual environment may cause him to withhold vital teaching for his converts. We have had men supported by sound churches here at home who compromised their faith in cooperation with Christian Churches and other denominational bodies. Their actions were not to win them to New Testament standards; it was from lack of conviction. Some have continued on the payroll of supporting churches while embracing serious doctrinal error. Others prepared the mission outposts for a takeover by some legalistic faction.

    Today the great danger confronting our missionary endeavors are the promoters of change.

    Change agents have found a fertile field on the campus of several of our Christian Universities. Impressionable young students are often victimized by teachers whose mission is to draw away disciples after themselves (Rom. 16:17). Upon graduation these young folks are sent forth, not to plant genuine churches of Christ, but hybrid denominational churches. If they were supported in their work by a denominational body that would be one thing, but they raise their support from unsuspecting congregations of the church of Christ. That is dishonest. The deceived churches gladly provide the funds for these false brethren to establish mission churches that are not truly churches of Christ. The investment of the supporting church is thus a total loss.

    The other problem occurs when the missionary is sent with inadequate Biblical training. Not being well-rooted and grounded in the faith, he becomes easy prey for the wily change agents working in the same area, or those traveling promoters of change who make their tours abroad to sow their tares of change. He might be seduced from the faith by deceptive literature widely circulated by those wishing to advance an agenda of change

    Elders who have generously supported such workers are shocked when they learned that all their prayers, encouragement and financial support were for naught. In fact the outcome was worse than failure. Their money had been misused to destroy what may have at one time been a true outpost for Christ's church. It may have been used to plant Christian Churches with their instruments of music and other unscriptural beliefs and practices. It may have been used to cause confusion and division in the mission field.

    To prevent such a loss, congregations owe it to themselves and to God to carefully screen those requesting support before they agree to provide it. Even after screening it is important to keep fully abreast of the work being done to assure it is in accord with God's will. Congregations that support US or foreign-born workers abroad should send representatives to visit those workers and their converts to be sure they are faithful to their mission. After all, it is God's money that is being invested. It is Christ's kingdom that we hope to advance in the world. Elders have every right to expect their support to be used to establish and develop biblically sound congregations. A true church of Christ has no interest in supporting that which it would not recognize or fellowship at home. Remember, it is folly to sow your seed in the teeth of a strong wind. </font>
___________________________________

<font color=indigo face=arial>Have you read "Books About the Change Movement: Reviews and Recommendations?" This book contains my reviews of those books promoting the change agenda as well as those written to oppose it. It is a good way to quickly gain an understanding of what this battle is all about. It will help you see exactly what the change agents are saying. The book sells for $15. To order, send your check to Church of Christ, c/o John Waddey, 12630 W. Foxfire Dr. Sun City West, AZ 85375.</font>

___________________________________

John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
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Ken Sublett
Ken Sublett

February 18th, 2007, 10:49 pm #8

I noticed that the mid south (Tenn / Ky ) Campus ministries invited Rick Atchley to their
Gulf Coast get away this year.

I sent an e-mail to a supporting church and got the usual no answer.
someone should tell the supporting churches that no one could have been surprised by Rick Atchley's
final OUTING of his long-held AGENDA to unite with the Christian Churches.

Unfortunately, the close bonding has exposed him to the "theology" of the Disciples
and resurfacing Stone-Campbell Movement which uses deceptive tactics to get people
to assume that the virtual witchcraft at Cane Ridge, KY in one of the wild west awakenings
was the FOUNDATION of churches of Christ.

The churches of Christ were never part of the denomination and in fact it was the Christian
church which DEFECTED in 1926 a decade after churches of Christ informed the Census
guys that churches of Christ should not be counted with the denominaiton.

Furthermore, Rick, Max etal parrot the books published by the Christian Churches in
defense of instrumental music. In thre three sermons Rick covered most of the "music"
passages in the bible and noted some of the early scholars and lied 100% of the time.
There is nothing in the training of most of our youth which would prepare them to
reject a lie about a specific Old Testament event OF WHICH they are absolutely ignorant.
They are assuredly NOT prepared to be the "pastors" of the college age groups.

I would hope that someone would check into the Mid Tennessee and other campus
ministries who SEEK OUT those who are actively trying to destroy the Biblical
churches of Christ.

F. LaGard Smith once wrote that to solve the discord you need to fire all of the
youth ministers. Maybe we need to rethink the Campus Ministries which began
as Bible Chairs and rapidly degenerated into a target for wackos on both the right and left.
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Jimmy Joe
Jimmy Joe

February 20th, 2007, 5:11 am #9

Ken I think I know why you have not received a response from your e-mail. If it is as long and wordy as the majority of your post, evidently they are not through reading it yet.
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