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J. A. Davis,Dear Alvin,
I didnt know of your posting of the 25 Theses until my good brother Weldon McKinney and I were lunching together and he told me about it. Upon examining the document, I was concerned for several reasons. The whole tenor of the document seems to be one that will not heal the wounds at church; rather, it seems to me, it will only further exacerbate the situation and be a cause of contention and further hurt to the body of Christ at Richland Hills. I do not think that is what you wish to happen, but I think that will be the result. In the few times that we have been with each other, I have come to regard you as one who has a great desire to win the lost to Jesus. I consider you to have a good heart, and know that you have extended time and treasure to get some things done while you were a member at Richland Hills. The making of the Garden of Prayer is a testimony to that. But to publicly post the 25 Theses as you have with all the accusations contained therein will only take away from the good that you have done.
To state, as you have, that to appoint both men and women without distinction as special servants is without Scripture warrant is to ignore that there are very good arguments for recognizing that the New Testament church had women deacons. (See my posting of the discussion that I had with Louis Rushmore concerning this.) I know that we will probably never agree on the New Testament evidence, but cant you admit that there is a possibility that you might be wrong on this subject? I know that it is possible for me to be wrong about this, for I have changed what I previously thought about the subject of women deacons and I know that I do not have all the answers. Weldon and I have discussed this a few times, and I doubt that either of us will change the others mind. But to divide a church over something like this is wrong. I know that you will probably say that it is the elders who are doing such by appointing women as special servants. But I think it was not a change of practice, it was only a change of nomenclature. Women were doing the work of deacons but they werent called deacons. And I would hold that every church of Christ that I know of has such women, for the church could not function without them. We have secretaries, Sunday school teachers and supervisors, those who serve in benevolence areas, etc. No church is without these women who serve as special servants.
You also state:
"5. We call on you to repent of changing the charter written in 1967 by the original founding elders. You removed, among other things, without the knowledge and consent of the congregation, this concise restrictive clause: "No mechanical instrument of any kind whatsoever shall ever be used in connection with the song service or worship or work to be carried on or conducted by said congregation or religious body". You have dishonored those righteous men and women who made every effort within their power to safeguard future generations from this specific departure from the Bible pattern for New Testament worship. They were aware of the divisive nature of this particular innovation and therefore made specific mention of it in their founding document. "
This, I think, is somewhat misleading. While it is true that the specific clause was removed, it was done in the context of a thorough revision of the charter to bring it into compliance with state and federal laws concerning non-profit organizations. There were a lot of changes and not just with regard to that particular clause. You also failed to note that this particular clause was added (Article 5, Section 6) A Church of Christ as used in this Article Five is a group or body of two or more believer in Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ, the Son of God, born of a virgin, raised from the dead, and now seated at the right hand of God ruling and reigning over His kingdom, the Church; the members of which group or body have been immersed in water into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit for the remission of sins. Each such body of believers constitutes a completely autonomous Church of Christ, having no earthly head or headquarters; who believe in the verbal inspiration of the Bible and the miracles recorded therein; to assemble on the first day of every week to honor God and spiritually edify each other by observing the Lords Supper; by studying the Bible, by contributing; by praying to God, and by singing songs of praise and edification without the use of mechanical instruments. It seems obvious to me that the elders of the 1994 revision of the charter were not trying to make it easier to use the instrument in worship.
You indicate that this revision dishonors the original founding elders of the 1967 charter. Of the six elders in the 1967 charter, all but two are dead. Of the six, two were my family: my father, and my father-in-law. I cannot claim to speak for all of the elders of the 1967 charter, but I did know them all and the kind of men they were. I think they would be more concerned with those who sow discord among the brethren than the revision of the charter. I do know that when I asked my father about this, he said that he did not feel dishonored by what the elders did in 1994.
My roots go deep in the Richland Hills Church of Christ. As a child I met in the Glenview Elementary School with the church before we even had a building to call our own. It has grown through the years because God has given it leaders who were in love with Him. They werent perfect; they made mistakes. They did not always agree among themselves, but they were unified in their approach to leading the family at Richland Hills. I think that is what has made it a special place it has been family. It has accepted people from all over who have been hurting in many different ways, and in it they have found a place to serve God. At Richland Hills we probably have had a wider spectrum of beliefs, practices, and socio-economic backgrounds than any other church of Christ that I know of. What has kept us together has been our love for God and for each other. Thats why we can have people who disagree on so many different things still remain in the one body. We show the world that we love God by loving each other and not insisting on our own way. Alvin, I dont agree with everything that occurs at Richland Hills. If I were in charge Im sure that things would be more traditional. (If I were in charge the church would probably end up much smaller ) I doubt that there is a church anywhere that I would completely endorse its practice and teaching. I suspect that with your even wider experience you could say the same. But I love Richland Hills. I love it with all of its failings, warts and all. It is a great church. But if the time came when the elders thought that what I was teaching or doing was going to be disruptive and harmful to the church, I would not cause trouble, even if I were convinced that I was right and they were wrong. Its more important to maintain unity than convince a brother that his viewpoint is wrong (Rom. 14). If, for some reason, I could no longer in good conscience continue there I would quietly leave and not cause trouble.
I pray, Alvin, that you will re-examine what you are doing.
In Christian Love,
J. A. Davis
The message of our Lord and Savior does not match up with the volatile hatred that you spew towards a fellow believer in the Lord Jesus. You strain at a gnat and swallow a camel!C.G.: whatever, the only name that matters is Christian.
Me: What about a MUSICAL WORSHIP TEAM NAMED Jezebel? Is that ok? No.
Then how about one named HALAL which means to SHINE, BOAST, MAKE SELF VILE as the source of the word LUCIFER? How about one named ZOE after "the Beast and the female instructing principle"?
How about taking the name CHRIST off the church and adding COMMUNITY? Or how about naming your child Fido?
C.G.: And about the music thing, they used music in early church, and I thought worship was to be joyous!
ME: That is what the LIERS FOR DOLLARS have told you but Jesus said that "Doctors of the Law take away the key to knowledge." He fired them but they are digging their way out of the earth.
The word "MUSIC" in Greek is SYMPHONIA and speaks of secular affairs with singing, playing, dancing, drinking much like the RISING UP TO PLAY at Mount Sinai which was MUSICAL IDOLATRY.
The word MELODY or PSALLO is not a musical term: it speaks of the warrior bow twangers who could melt your heart or drive you into panic. It derives from "grinding you into a fine powder" like the SOP Jesus fed Judas which caused him to SCOOT.
The word MUSIC is never used of the worship of God's people any time any place under any circumstances. People who LIE about that are agents of an alien power.
The Bible, the Book of Enoch and my 36 collected ancient resources show that Lucifer (Zoe) was a MUSICAL ENCHANTER who caused the fallen angels. He was in the garden of Eden. SHE will be the end-time Bablon whore who was KIRKE who attached her name to CHURCH in John's arena.
The MUSIC was not called such in the slaughter of thousands of animals as a CURSE for the idolatry at Mount Sinai. They made a loud crashing noise and if you could get the sight and sound and SMELL of this slaughter pen you could understand why the priests NEEDED DIVERSION from the horrors.
This SLAUGHTER represented their repudiation of the Spirit of Christ as their king, prince and priest.
Psalm 41 predicts that Judas would try this on Jesus and it was fulfilled when the WARRIOR MUSICIANS mocked Jesus: they "piped" trying to pervert Jesus into the Dionysus song and dance.
However, these SOUNDERS service was "HARD BONDAGE" and they did not WORSHIP. They served in the COURTS and not in the Holy Place. The Holy Place had its sanctity protected by a BODY so that no SINGER OR MUSICIAN could ever enter into the Holy Place as a type of the church or body of Christ.
The only one who MET God was the high priest once a year in the Most Holy Place. The people were IN EXILE from the presence of God. Only BELIEVERS now come boldly before the Throne of God where we worship in the PLACE of the human spirit. No musicians dare try to enter.
There were many INNOVATIONS by both Pharisees and Sadducees and Jesus REPUDIATES each and every one. For instance, it was pagan and polluted superstition which made the MUSICAL MOURING TEAMS believe that they could approach the "gods" on behald of the dead girl or appease the spirit of the dead. Jesus politely invited them outside, they MOCKED HIM something like "speaking in tongues" and they were CAST OUT "more or less violently." The word defines how one CAST OUT DUNG. Just like the carcass and dung was CAST out of the temple area.
No church had any notion of MUSIC as worship because:
1. The Jews had grown up in the Synagogue (never in the temple proper) and understood that it was A SCHOOL OF THE BIBLE. There was never any PRAISE SERVICE in the Synagogue.
2. The Gentiles understood the eternal connection between MUSIC in the pagan temples, adultery and perverted sexuality.
It was not until the fourth century that DIVISION was caused by introducing "music" which was simply chanting the INSPIRED BIBLICAL TEXT rather than obeying Paul and SPEAKING or PREACHING one to another.
All of the church historians associate MUSIC with Satan and repudiate it absolutely. The 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia agrees.
The founders of denominations repudiated music as worship.
MUSIC has been introduced into the church as a planned, deliberate effort to INFILTRATE AND DIVERT churches of Christ into being Christian churches. Perhaps 100% of them were aspiring MUSICIANS riding the widows to bootstrap themselve up into fame and fortune. Or they were BOOK PEDDLERS or wannabes.
All of this is in fulfillment of Apollo or Abaddon or Apollyon's releasing the LOCUSTS. Apollo's MUSES were turned into LOCUSTS in the ancient stories. Throughout the classics the locust or grasshoppers are MUSICAL PERFORMERS who LULL people into a deep sleep. The MUSES are grouped with INSTRUMENTALISTS in Revelation 18 as "ministers" of the Babylon Harlot.
No, sister, LIERS ARE FRYERS if they tell you that MUSIC was EVER used in the worship of a Spirit God. And in paganism, the same AUTHORITY for music is also athority for girl singers as prostitutes and male performers as SODOMITES. THERE IS NO OTHER EVIDENCE.
In fact, in the Bible all musical terms or names of Instruments are connected to the Devil, to polluting or to prostituting. The TRIUMPH over prophesied for Jesus by Judas was the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION in the Jerusalem Temple under the Greeks: The MASCULINE JOURNEY INITIATION was sodomy. There is no other tradition.
If you care one jot I can point you to the largest collection of documents but NOT ONE which will give you authority for MUSIC of any KIND unless you are MARKED by Satan.
The JUDGMENTALISM about Billy Graham began with the LOCUSTS eating up the widow's tithe KNOWING THEY WERE DELICIOUSLY sowing discord by JUDGING that Franklin Graham was OK along with EVERYONE who can say "Jesus."
This is the deliberate use of DISCORD or "Navigating the Winds of Change" derived from Hegel, Hitler or Machiavelli. You deliberately rub dung in the face of people but not to the point of getting fired. Then they WASH IT OFF and you are eternally grateful that you don't have to do it every week. Nevertheless, they have MOVED you from YOUR opinion to worship theirs.
The JUDGMENTALISM about music began with destructive children DELIBERATELY SOWING DISCORD just to pay off the TEMPLE BILL.
Those who OBJECT can be defined as JUDGMENTAL only by those who would shoot you in the heart and condemn you for squirting blood on their dancing slippers.
Gal 5 13 "For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!I found this site quite by accident while search for information about a childhood friend by the last name of Atchley. I have to admit that I was both appalled and humored by all the rants here.
I find myself thinking the same thing my teenaged son questioned me about recently. Why would ANYONE want to believe in a God that is presented as such an JERK?!
I sure don't. I'm not saying I don't believe there is a God. But you have to admit that God himself would or should disapprove of such a judgemental, insecure and dismissive entity. I prefer to believe in a God of Love.
I find it humorous that so many fundamentalist Christians act in just the opposite way that the bible teaches --- I find many "devout Christians" to be the most hate filled, venomous, judmental and angry people I've ever met. Its so sad.
Am I getting this right -- alot of this is over MUSIC? Hysterical!
Geez -- yall SCARE me!
There are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO many more ways you could spend your time that would help other people.....
Hey Ken. I was wondering if you some times sign in as other people and agree with yourself so it doesn't seem like you are "totally out there" and no one is listening?All I can say is "AMEN" to your post. God bless.
Those BEHIND Concerned Members are those who have had their CHURCH HOME stolen by false preachers and MUSICIANS. They boast about infiltrating and diverting to turn YOUR property into a THEATER FOR HOLY ENTERTAINMENT.Gal 5 13 "For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
Walking in the Spirit
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery,[c] fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders,[d] drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christs have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another."
It isn't too difficult for even the beginning Bible student to apply this text from Gal 5 to the posts on this site and make an imformed decision as to who is more likely walking in the Spirit and who is not.
The reason Mr. Sublett must use so much extrabiblical resourses to support his theories is that the Bible alone does not. I have read many, many of your posts Mr. Sublett and I have not seen even a hint of love for those whith whom you disagree. If you don't love your brother you don't love God! That is not my words, its God's word.
All the fuss about the theses on the door is actually both sad and interesting. In an article concerning the split between Disciples of Christ and Churches of Christ I read recently (Southern History?) showed that the Churches of Christ split fropm the Disciples due primarily to animosity to churches in the North. Instrumental music (richer northern churches could afford them, southern churches could not and of course, we tend to use scriptute to "proof text" our predetermined stance on things), big churches, rich churches, missionary societies, othet things dividing north and south. In passages I have read in the Bible instrumental music was welcomed by God (e.g.the dedication of the temple in 2Chronicles 5) where the musicians played, the singers sang and the Spirit of the Lord filled the Temple. David's playing of musical instruments was pleasing to God, etc.Where in the Bible does it say anything about instruments in church service? And if your basing your church service on what was done in the old testament I think you need to have many more changes. I am sure they did not have microphones, and pews, for goodness sake they met in homes. We don't meet in homes. How do you know they did not raise there hands. Where is that mentioned in the Bible?
I do believe that baptisim is a response to and a show of obedience as a result of being saved by grace. But if you must do something to be saved, thats a work and our salvation is not a free gift from God. The Bible teaches clearly that we are not saved by works.
Do you really believe that God would not be faithful to all those out there seeking him? Do you really believe that He would lead Billy Graham and millions of others earnestly seeking him down the wrong path after all these years?
Do you really think if we don't follow your ways we will all perish? How about those in Africa that sing and shout out loud and dance before the Lord with no musical instruments because their culture is different from ours. Shall they perish too?
After reading your posting I am so glad I have been free from all this nonsense for the last 9 years. I have been able to focus on Jesus as my salvation and loving others as Jesus loved me. Not- musical instrumnets, have you been dunked (we don't care what's in your heart or if you understand what salvation means to your lifestyle, we want to know if you have been emersed fully under water). Just think of all God could do for the kingdom if we spent as much time on Him as you have wasted on bashing His church.
I agree! The problem here is you are dealing with a group of people who have a Pelagian mentality.I am not a member at Richland Hills but I heard about
this 25 thesis posted to the door and I was interested
to see what it was all about. It seems looking from
the outside that someone in your group of "concerned
members" has some kind of personal grudge or control
issue. And where is the brotherly love here. All I
see is your group trying to bash this congregation for
no reason that I can read. And what about people out
there reading this who are lost, what will they think
of the church? They will not want to come. Why must
you be so viscious to make a point and I lost the point
early on. Woman have always been servants in the church,
duh!!!! Whether we are called special servants or
whatever, the only name that matters is Christian. And
about the music thing, they used music in early church,
and I thought worship was to be joyous! And all your
bashing about Billy Graham is so uncalled for. He is
a true servant of the Lord and has devoted all his life
to sharing the gospel message. What are you doing for
the kingdom except causing division? How many people
are you sharing the gospel with? Not many since it is
obvious you are all spending your time bashing brothers
and sisters who are only using all means available to
bring the lost in to hear the saving message. It is
easy to criticize when you don't want to actually work
for the kingdom isn't it? Grow up and share the gosel
and stop trying to tear the church down!!!!
From a loving and very concerned sister in Christ, greetings to all who may read this. May God bless you with understanding and peace.
I have to say, to some extent I agree with you about the change agents. The motive in many cases is arrogance. Going into a church and and changing its culture is divisive and pointless. The point of a community of faith is to support and love each other and worship God. Not try out the lastest workshop church growth theories.
I have attended Richland Hills for a long time. They do lots of good things. They do lots of silly unnecessary things as well. But that is what it is to be human. We are all imperfect and fallible, even when we believe the book we base our faith on isn't.
I don't know what to say to people like you Mr. Sublett. I grew up with in a household that believes like you. I parted ways with them because I could no longer find meaning in it. I think a majority of younger people like myself feel the same way. Your way of belief is dying out, just as the culture that created it is. The good news for you, if you choose to see it this way, is the Baby boomer inspired consumer church phenom is on its way out as well. Mark my words, another generation or so, the huge temples of excess that mark the suburban landscape will be empty. Lucado, Shelby, Cope and the like will be footnotes in history, replaced by the next big thing.