Review of Concerned Members

Brian Cade
Brian Cade

May 24th, 2012, 5:24 am #1

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Concerned Members is a gathering place for complainers who feel that changes in their favorite version of "church" are tantamount to apostasy. Unfortunately, the seemingly primary characters here do nothing to mentor them in the faith, but rather fuel and encourage continued complaining, spreading discord, and embarrassing the faith.

It is a rather childish place and makes the operators (to my mind) seem considerably immature and well, stupid. There is little original thought demonstrated and non sequiturs abound. Even those who have published a book or two seemingly suffer from overly narrow thinking and defensiveness.

It really is a waste of time.
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Anonymous
Anonymous

May 24th, 2012, 5:49 am #2

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Donnie Cruz
donniecruz@msn.com
[Previously bulleted items are now ordered for references purposes.]
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[color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]Brian,

ConcernedMembers came into existence when the transformation of some of the mega churches of Christ was in progress.

The former Oak Hills Church of Christ [thanks to the leadership of its elders and "Reverend Pastor" Max Lucado], in completely transforming into a Community Church, found it necessary to drop the name "of Christ."

Richland Hills Church of Christ, not long after, implemented instrumental music in the assembly; it too had to change its name.

Madison Church of Christ, "almost" [methinks] became a Community Church. Perhaps, it too might eventually incorporate instrumental music into one of its assemblies [let's hope not].

And who are the real complainers? Not just that -- but they who distract, destroy, divide, acquire once-peaceful congregations?[/color]
<ol>[*]The change agents believe that the church of Christ Jesus is a denomination;
</li>[*]The change agents believe that Christ's church should engage in instrumental music;
</li>[*]The change agents believe in open fellowship with other religious bodies;
</li>[*]The change agents teach that women should have a leading role in the church;
</li>[*]The change agents downplay the office of the deacon -- that women can serve as deaconesses;
</li>[*]The change agents teach that the church is not the kingdom;
</li>[*]The change agents teach that the New Testament church needs to be restructured;
</li>[*]The change agents teach that New Testament Christianity is irrelevant;
</li>[*]The change agents teach that silence of the Scripture is not prohibitive;
</li>[*]The change agents teach that salvation is by faith and baptism is not essential for the forgiveness of sins;
</li>[*]The change agents are greatly enamored by radical youth workshops;
</li>[*]The change agents teach that teaching obedience and commandments is legalism;
</li>[*]The change agents teach that using deductions based on Scripture cannot establish truth;
</li>[*]The change agents teach that restoration of the church is not finished;
</li>[*]The change agents teach the advocacy of the Holy Spirit empowering us in sensational ways apart from the Word of God;
</li>[*]The change agents teach that worship is to be changed to be more emotional in the Pentecostal denominational style;
</li>[*]The change agents are gashing the church and finding little good about it and in contrast being complimentary of other religious groups;
</li>[*]The change agents teach that pattern theology is an abomination;
</li>[*]... ... ... ...
</li>[/list][color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]And who are the complainers?[/color]
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Anonymous
Anonymous

May 24th, 2012, 6:14 am #3

Submitted: CM's Richland Hills Church of Christ Forum
By: Brian Cade (Anonymous)
Email: arturo@mosquitonet.com
Date: May 23 2012, 5:07 PM
From: 66.230.83.143
[Edited items as numbered for reference purposes.]
Oh, boy, talk about grist for the mill;
<em>1. The change agents believe that the church of Christ Jesus is a denomination;</em>
It certainly looks like one from the outside, especially when you throw in the arrogant belief that only those who are in the "Church of Christ" are saved.It's foolish to believe that our little movement has a lock on God's truth. I can tell you for certain we don't.

<em>2. The change agents believe that Christ's church should engage in instrumental music;</em>
The men you speak against, your brethren, have examined the scriptures and find no prohibition against instrumental music. You won't either, if you examine the scriptures for yourself in a Berean spirit.

<em>3. The change agents believe in open fellowship with other religious bodies;</em>
Who, the Buddhists? The Hindus? The Muslims? OR are your brethren advocating fellowship with other Christians who might belong to another faith-heritage? What's wrong with that?

<em>4. The change agents teach that women should have a leading role in the church;</em>
Evidence?

<em>5. The change agents downplay the office of the deacon -- that women can serve as deaconesses;</em>
The word "deacon" comes from the Greek word for servant. Whether you want to admit it or not, thousands of our sisters are <em>already</em> serving the church in some informal capacity.Paul commended at least one such that we know of, Phoebe.

<em>6. The change agents teach that the church is not the kingdom;</em>
If by "church" you mean the little group that remains from the Stone-Campbell movement that calls itself the "Church of Christ" then your brethren are absolutely correct.

<em>7. The change agents teach that the New Testament church needs to be restructured;</em>
If by "restructure", you mean moving away from the view that elders are an executive board of directors and that deacons are "elders in training"-level junior executives, then your brethren are correct. "Deacon" is not a formal office.
<em>8. The change agents teach that New Testament Christianity is irrelevant;</em> False. You've been lied to.Worse, your brethren have been slandered and libelled.

<em>9. The change agents teach that silence of the Scripture is not prohibitive;</em>Silence neither permits nor prohibits. What permits or prohibits is God's <em>specificity</em> on a given matter.When did God ever reveal truth to His people by saying absolutely nothing at all? That said, scripture is very clear that if you are not sure about something, don't perform that action if it will violate your conscience.

<em>10. The change agents teach that salvation is by faith and baptism is not essential for the forgiveness of sins;</em>
Your brethren teach that salvation is by faith and that baptism is the response. Let me explain it this way:if, out of the goodness of my heart, I go down to the bank and open an account for Donnie Cruz with a balance of a million dollars, you still have to go into the bank and put your name on the signature card for that account. Without your signature, you can't accept or access my gift to you. I didn't have to set up that account for you; I did it because I wanted to and you needed the money.

<em>11. The change agents are greatly enamored by radical youth workshops;</em>
Evidence?

<em>12. The change agents teach that teaching obedience and commandments is legalism;
13. The change agents teach that using deductions based on Scripture cannot establish truth;</em>
These two belong under the same heading. Your brethren teach that the CENI hermeneutic, along with the twin laws of silence and expediency, if taken to their conclusion, lead to division and strife among brethren and need to be re-examined, if not discarded. Are you afraid to think for yourself?

<em>14. The change agents teach that restoration of the church is not finished;</em>
False. The church never needed restoring in the first place. It has been with us since its founding. The idea that the church needs "restoring" is a man-made conceit

<em>15. The change agents teach the advocacy of the Holy Spirit empowering us in sensational ways apart from the Word of God;</em>
Please be more specific.

<em>16. The change agents teach that worship is to be changed to be more emotional in the Pentecostal denominational style;</em>
There is nothing wrong with an uplifting worship service. Nehemiah 8:10 says "The joy of the Lord is our strength." At the same time, we need to be aware that some practices (lifting holy hands, clapping, singing during communion,etc) can cause a large amount of cognitive dissonance to people whose idea of "joy" includes a dry rendition of "The Old Rugged Cross".

<em>17. The change agents are gashing the church and finding little good about it and in contrast being complimentary of other religious groups;</em>
There is very little good about a group whose only purpose in coming together is to find fault in others. On the other hand, did you ever once stop to think that you might have something to learn from people whose lives show evidence of the fruit of the Holy Spirit, regardless of their Christian faith-
heritage?

<em>18. The change agents teach that pattern theology is an abomination;</em>
Pattern theology teaches that a man can earn salvation by keeping to a scripted code of conduct and action, so that come the day of judgment, God has no choice but to allow you into heaven.In other words, pattern theology is a special case of works theology, which spits in the face of clear scriptural teaching to the contrary."For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." - Ephesians 2:8,9
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Joined: January 2nd, 2005, 6:45 am

May 24th, 2012, 8:11 am #4

[color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]The original intent of the list was to show the differences between: (1) the acquired beliefs of the change agents, mainly from their denominational neighbors, and (2) the New Testament-based beliefs and teachings of their "heritage," the Restoration Movement.

You were very predictable in all of your arguments against the "heritage," actually against the teachings found in the New Testament. You've evidently and clearly delineated your personal beliefs and those of your fellow change agents from those of us who would dare not alter God's truth with man's "wonderful" and "pleasant" ideas and opinions. I guess it's understood that your preferred alignment is with the denominational churches rather than with those brethren from whom you've apostatized. Overall, it's better that way anyway, although regrettably and unfortunately, the change agents couldn't afford to start their own denomination(S) from SCRATCH.

Brian, you've learned a lot from those who seek to corrupt, divide, pervert, confuse and acquire congregations and to transform them into Community Churches.

It's been apparent all along that the change agents detest being tested and proved by certain principles that demand: "PROVE IT WITH SCRIPTURE."

C.E.N.I. requires proof from Scripture -- it excludes man's OPINION.

The "Law of Silence" requires proof from Scripture -- it excludes man's OPINION.


I do not have the time right now to discuss all the items that define and identify the change agents operating in the brotherhood. You just quoted a couple of passages: (1) that deals with "programmed" joy but perhaps you were too ashamed to mention "dancing"; and (2) your mishandling of the subject of God's grace in conjunction with the Christian's responsibility to strive to do God's will and remain faithful in order to receive the reward of life everlasting.

Well, just a sample of the discussion to come. The change agents' ideas and opinions will be rebutted.[/color]
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Joined: February 16th, 2012, 8:07 pm

May 24th, 2012, 9:27 am #5

<em>You were very predictable in all of your arguments against the "heritage," actually against the teachings found in the New Testament</em>

Please expand on this.

<em>You've evidently and clearly delineated your personal beliefs and those of your fellow change agents from those of us who would dare not alter God's truth with man's "wonderful" and "pleasant" ideas and opinions.</em>

I dare to think for myself and come to my own conclusions. Please tell me where you think I am wrong.

<em>I guess it's understood that your preferred alignment is with the denominational churches rather than with those brethren from whom you've apostatized.</em>

Tell me where I have apostasized and prove it from scripture.

<em>It's been apparent all along that the change agents detest being tested and proved by certain principles that demand: "PROVE IT WITH SCRIPTURE." </em>

Actually, your brethren invite debate if you can back it with scripture. What I nor any of the men whom you term "change agents" will accept are a priori pronouncements of judgment from you or anyone who does not like having their version of "church" challenged.

<em>C.E.N.I. requires proof from Scripture -- it excludes man's OPINION.

The "Law of Silence" requires proof from Scripture -- it excludes man's OPINION.</em>

The "law of silence" is a phrase which is never found in scripture. Same goes for Command, Example, Necessary Inference. By what reasoning do you determine that these are the only proper way to interpret scripture? By what reasoning is it proper to use proof-texting and ad hominum to refute an honest difference of opinion?


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B
B

May 24th, 2012, 1:39 pm #6

Copied/Transferred from the Richland Hills Church of Christ Forum
May 22 2012 at 8:32 PM
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Concerned Members is a gathering place for complainers who feel that changes in their favorite version of "church" are tantamount to apostasy. Unfortunately, the seemingly primary characters here do nothing to mentor them in the faith, but rather fuel and encourage continued complaining, spreading discord, and embarrassing the faith.

It is a rather childish place and makes the operators (to my mind) seem considerably immature and well, stupid. There is little original thought demonstrated and non sequiturs abound. Even those who have published a book or two seemingly suffer from overly narrow thinking and defensiveness.

It really is a waste of time.
If Brian thinks that Concerned Members is a "waste of time," then why does he continue to post here?
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B
B

May 24th, 2012, 3:17 pm #7

Copied/Transferred from the Richland Hills Church of Christ Forum
May 22 2012 at 8:32 PM
Anonymous
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Concerned Members is a gathering place for complainers who feel that changes in their favorite version of "church" are tantamount to apostasy. Unfortunately, the seemingly primary characters here do nothing to mentor them in the faith, but rather fuel and encourage continued complaining, spreading discord, and embarrassing the faith.

It is a rather childish place and makes the operators (to my mind) seem considerably immature and well, stupid. There is little original thought demonstrated and non sequiturs abound. Even those who have published a book or two seemingly suffer from overly narrow thinking and defensiveness.

It really is a waste of time.
Brian wrote: "Even those who have published a book or two seemingly suffer from overly narrow thinking and defensiveness."

Since the Concerned Members web site takes a stand against the Change Movement, then comments made about books that anyone here might have published would be relevant only if those books addressed the abominations of the Change Movement and similar subjects. I'm not aware that anyone here has published such a book. Therefore, Brian's comment is irrelevant and is spawned from his desperate frustration.
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Jeremiah
Jeremiah

May 24th, 2012, 6:22 pm #8

Copied/Transferred from the Richland Hills Church of Christ Forum
May 22 2012, 11:52 PM
Donnie Cruz
donniecruz@msn.com
[Previously bulleted items are now ordered for references purposes.]
=====================================


[color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]Brian,

ConcernedMembers came into existence when the transformation of some of the mega churches of Christ was in progress.

The former Oak Hills Church of Christ [thanks to the leadership of its elders and "Reverend Pastor" Max Lucado], in completely transforming into a Community Church, found it necessary to drop the name "of Christ."

Richland Hills Church of Christ, not long after, implemented instrumental music in the assembly; it too had to change its name.

Madison Church of Christ, "almost" [methinks] became a Community Church. Perhaps, it too might eventually incorporate instrumental music into one of its assemblies [let's hope not].

And who are the real complainers? Not just that -- but they who distract, destroy, divide, acquire once-peaceful congregations?[/color]
<ol>[*]The change agents believe that the church of Christ Jesus is a denomination;
</li>[*]The change agents believe that Christ's church should engage in instrumental music;
</li>[*]The change agents believe in open fellowship with other religious bodies;
</li>[*]The change agents teach that women should have a leading role in the church;
</li>[*]The change agents downplay the office of the deacon -- that women can serve as deaconesses;
</li>[*]The change agents teach that the church is not the kingdom;
</li>[*]The change agents teach that the New Testament church needs to be restructured;
</li>[*]The change agents teach that New Testament Christianity is irrelevant;
</li>[*]The change agents teach that silence of the Scripture is not prohibitive;
</li>[*]The change agents teach that salvation is by faith and baptism is not essential for the forgiveness of sins;
</li>[*]The change agents are greatly enamored by radical youth workshops;
</li>[*]The change agents teach that teaching obedience and commandments is legalism;
</li>[*]The change agents teach that using deductions based on Scripture cannot establish truth;
</li>[*]The change agents teach that restoration of the church is not finished;
</li>[*]The change agents teach the advocacy of the Holy Spirit empowering us in sensational ways apart from the Word of God;
</li>[*]The change agents teach that worship is to be changed to be more emotional in the Pentecostal denominational style;
</li>[*]The change agents are gashing the church and finding little good about it and in contrast being complimentary of other religious groups;
</li>[*]The change agents teach that pattern theology is an abomination;
</li>[*]... ... ... ...
</li>[/list][color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]And who are the complainers?[/color]
The change agents believe that the church of Christ Jesus is a denomination.

Denomination literally means a religious group, usually including many local churches. Is the coc a religious group including many local churches? Yep.

The change agents believe that Christ's church should engage in instrumental music;

Not that they should but that they certainly are at liberty to do so if they choose.

The change agents believe in open fellowship with other religious bodies;

One of the great quotes that came out of the restoration movement was we are Christians only, but not the only Christians. What ever happened to that? Answer: Daniel Sommer and others like him.

The change agents teach that the church is not the kingdom;

This is a new one to me. Ive never read where the change agents teach this, but some of them may very well do so. Please provide evidence to support this claim that I can consider.

The change agents teach that New Testament Christianity is irrelevant;

No they dont. They teach that there is a difference between NT Christianity really is and what many in the coc believe it is, but nowhere do any of them say NT Christianity is irrelevant. By saying such you are clearly seeking to prejudice rather than inform your readers.

The change agents teach that silence of the Scripture is not prohibitive;

If the silence of scripture is prohibitive, then why was it ok for the Jews in Jesus time to include wine in the Passover meal? The scriptures were silent on such. One of many issues with the law of silence. Silence neither permits nor prohibits. Where there is silence we must think and make sound judgments based on Biblical principles.

The change agents teach that pattern theology is an abomination;
God told Moses to make all things according to the pattern, and gave very clear and explicit instructions for how services were to be conducted in the OT. If the NT were a pattern for how we are to worship (which it nowhere claims to be) wouldnt we find the same rather than bits and pieces of it sprinkled across a bunch of letters leaving us to put together and figure out? If the NT is such a pattern it is a very elusive one.
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Joined: January 28th, 2012, 10:19 pm

May 24th, 2012, 9:25 pm #9

Brian wrote: "Even those who have published a book or two seemingly suffer from overly narrow thinking and defensiveness."

Since the Concerned Members web site takes a stand against the Change Movement, then comments made about books that anyone here might have published would be relevant only if those books addressed the abominations of the Change Movement and similar subjects. I'm not aware that anyone here has published such a book. Therefore, Brian's comment is irrelevant and is spawned from his desperate frustration.
In response to the change agents I reference the example of Abraham

In Gen 12 he was told to do go to a far country by the word of God and he took that in a literal sense even though familiar territory and persons were around him. He chose to obey God and trust in his promises.

In Heb 11/12, Gal 3 and James 2 this same Abraham is held up as a example of the faithful and who will be the recipients of Gods promise of salvation. See also Rom 4 for a description of Abraham as an example to the men and women who please God and are therefore the heirs of the promise of God.

There is no promise of God for grace to those who do not follow his word. The promises of God are conditional and have been shown to be such throughout the Bible. Matt 7 should be read by the change agents among us and considered for the issues are before God not man, and the main issue is the will of God not the approval and praise of men. This is the example of Abraham and Sarah which is fundamental to any religious thought that has as a goal of pleasing God and seeking that city whose builder and maker is God.

Consider that we live in a miserable permissive society and those that love the world do not have the love of God in them.
We should be saving the lost from denominational dogma and confusion rather than trying to justify them based on pious talk and sincere mistakes. God didn't promise to save based on sincerity alone or he would have approved of Cains offering in Gen 4.

Comments welcome

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Joined: July 29th, 2010, 2:32 pm

May 25th, 2012, 1:43 am #10

Perhaps the focus on "Music" is a way to make people blind to the Word of God which is there for searching and learning. I might add my further comments. The word "believeth" or pistis as used in the Greek texts always includes "to comply." Believeth not or "apistos" means to be in revolt and to betray Jesus Christ.

Gal 5:6 For in Jesus Christ
<font color="#FFFFFF">.....
neither circumcision availeth any thing,
.....nor uncircumcision;
.....but faith which worketh by love.


energ-e , A. [select] to be in action or activity, operate, effect, execute,

Abraham is not said to have been SAVED because he was not LOST. Sin was in the world so that people could SIN their own sin and not blame ADAM. Abraham is said to have been a RIGHTEOUS man. Saved does not mean Justified.

Heb.11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance,
.....obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
Heb.11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried,
.....offered up Isaac;
.....and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

Ja. 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works,
.....when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
Ja. 2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works,
.....and by works was faith made perfect?
Ja.2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith,
.....Abraham believed God,
.....and it was imputed unto him for righteousness:
.....and he was called the Friend of God.


Abraham is not said to have BELIEVED God until he had obeyed God: Believeth means to COMPLY.

Gen 22:12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him:
.....for now I know that thou fearest God,
.....seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
Gen 22:16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord,
.....for because thou hast done this thing,
.....and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son,
Gen 22:17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying
.....I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore;
.....and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
Gen 22:18 And in thy seed [singular]shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;
.....because thou hast obeyed my voice.


God restated this to Isaac:

Gen 26:4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven,
.....and will give unto thy seed all these countries;
.....and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;
Gen 26:5 Because that Abraham
.....obeyed my voice,
.....and kept my charge,
.....my commandments,
.....my statutes,
.....and my laws.

Gen 26:6 And Isaac dwelt in Gerar: [obeyed god.]


</font>
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