THE COMMUNITY CHURCH—A Brief Overview

Joined: January 2nd, 2005, 6:45 am

November 2nd, 2011, 11:39 pm #11

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

Your research report is off-topic. But, at last, you mentioned "change agents." You may be learning about your mentors, after all, perhaps slowly but surely. Give credit to ConcernedMembers, at least.

Are you no longer a supporter and disciple of Jeff Walling?

Your next assignment is predictive in nature -- How long do you think it will take for Jeff Walling to transform or reform the Providence Road church into a Community Church with MECHANICAL MUSIC being a vital part when the saints assemble? How long has he been the "pastor" at the PRCC? Here's a hint that might assist you with your prophecy -- P.R.C.C. now has "Praise Team" (a.k.a. "CHOIR"). It even has a "Praise Team" store with supplies. It now has both the "TRADITIONAL" and "CONTEMPORARY" divisions!!! One of the divisions does not have a CHOIR, soloist, and other performers. The other division has all of the above. Trust me -- the division is the result of the controversial Praise Team and Contemporary Christian Music issue.

No, I'm not giving it all away. Do your research, Fred. I shall await -- the real research, Fred, not some comedic verbiage.[/color]
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Dave
Dave

November 3rd, 2011, 2:01 am #12

<font face=Times New Roman size=5 color=blue>
THE COMMUNITY CHURCH
</font>
<font face=Times New Roman size=4 color=blue>
A Brief Overview
</font>

<font face=Times New Roman size=3 color=blue>
Gary McDade



The Lord Jesus Christ established his church on the first Pentecost after the resurrection 33 A.D. in Jerusalem, Israel. The church of Christ was purchased with the precious blood of the Son of God (Acts 20:28). As his loving bride, the church wears his sacred name, the church of Christ (Eph. 5:21-33; Rom. 16:16). Jesus Christ is the head of this one bride, which is his body (Eph. 5:23; 1:21-23). And, "there is one body" (Eph. 4:4). In recent times, men have arisen who are ashamed of the name of Christ’s bride and body, "the church of Christ." One example emerges from The Christian Chronicle where a deacon from the former Southlake Church of Christ in Dallas, Texas stated that changing the name to the Southlake Boulevard Church and following a Baptist preacher by the name of Rick Warren through his book, The Purpose-Driven Church, was "removing a barrier to the community" (April, Vol. 57, No. 4). Dozens of examples like this can be cited from the March and April editions of The Christian Chronicle. The names being substituted in the place of the scriptural name "church of Christ" constitute a departure from heaven’s way. Salvation is only in the name of Christ, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Those who have become ashamed of Christ and his sacred name will be condemned, for he said, "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels" (Mk. 8:38).

In the place of heeding the great commission (Matt. 28:18-20) by sowing the good seed of the kingdom, which is the word of God (Lk. 8:11), and being content and honored to be workers together with God (II Cor. 6:1) allowing him to give the increase (I Cor. 3:6), these people are following a so-called "paradigm" or model for church growth from Barrington, Illinois called "Willow Creek Community Church." They speak of "practical" Christian doctrine which is "pragmatic," meaning whatever works to bring in the numbers of people and dollars (The Bridge, Harding Graduate School of Religion, Volume 41, Number 4, July 2000, p. 1). Their goal clearly is to please "people today" or "contemporary Christians" (ibid.). And, from where did Bill Hybels, founder of WCCC, get this model now being so widely imitated among denominational people like Rick Warren and many Christians who formerly considered themselves to be members of the church of Christ? Hybels wrote in Rediscovering Church, "But what could seem like a patterned formula is actually a twenty-year response to the fluid, daily, unpredictable leading of God. The unimpressive truth is that we made the whole thing up as we went along, trusting the Holy Spirit for each next step, rarely seeing which direction the path ahead would take. It was only by following the voice of God--by listening for his particular call to us--that we could move forward with confidence" (p. 53). The Holy Spirit leads, guides, and directs only through his word, the Bible, today (Eph. 6:17; II Tim. 3:16-17). Therefore, taking away the Holy Spirit directly leading Hybels all that is left is, "The unimpressive truth is that we made the whole thing up as we went along. . . . "
A summary of this new model will be given in three points: 1) The strategy for changing the name to the Community Church, 2) the organizational structure of the Community Church, and 3) the evangelistic thrust of the Community Church. Point one, the name Community Church is preferred because traditional names are viewed as carrying unwanted baggage. Contemporary people want to be in charge of the church without old restrictions, so a break with the past is made in accepting a new name. Contemporary people do not want to learn Christian doctrine; they just want to be free to express themselves in whatever way they "feel" the Holy Spirit directly is leading them. Point two, the Community Church is organized around a twofold structure, large group celebrations and small affinity groups or cell groups. The way the professor of Christian doctrine at Harding University Graduate School of Religion in Memphis has organized the Community Church of which he is a shepherd is into small groups of eight to sixteen adults. Large group gatherings are celebrations; small group gatherings are "entry points." Informal dress, contemporary Christian music, testimonials, praise team presentations (music and drama), and hand clapping make up the celebration of the large group meetings. Sharing, praying, evangelizing, and Bible study make up the small group meetings. Point three, the evangelistic thrust of the Community Church centers around targeting the type of people the church wants to evangelize. Most pick younger (late thirties or early forties) people who are well educated and have good incomes. The one or ones in charge find out what that group wants and then sets out to unreservedly give it to them. Somehow granting these "contemporary people" what they want is supposed to generate within them holiness and communion with God.

The source from which the Community Church model or paradigm is making its way into the churches of Christ is out in the open. Sadly, it is the Christian schools. The generation who established these schools for the education of Christian young people in an environment conducive to Christian growth and development based on the inspired word of God are now deceased. Younger men impressed with the soaring expense of operating these enterprises know it will take large sums of money for them to continue to compete for the brightest and best students. Churches now primarily made up of older people have given their all to keep them viable, but their children have married and moved into other cities and communities; their pre-inflation blue-collar-worker dollars no longer are enough. At this point in time, not all of the Christian schools have succumbed to the pressure. They remain worthy of personal and financial support. But, those that are participating in the Community Church movement or are silent about it, thus, facilitating it, are not worthy of another dollar from the pockets of Christian parents who formerly have entrusted their precious children to them for instruction in righteousness (Eph. 5:11).

The schools that are known to be promoting the Community Church from the published sources earlier mentioned are these: Abilene Christian University, Harding University (the academy, undergraduate, and graduate schools are and have supported the Community Church. The dean of the graduate school, Evertt Huffard, is credited with starting the Downtown Church in Memphis way back in 1995. See: Harding Alumni Magazine, August 1995), Oklahoma Christian University, Lipscomb University, Pepperdine University, Rochester College, and Southern Christian University (a retired faculty member, Edward R. Barels, has gone on record in favor of the Community Church, so whether or not SCU itself favors the movement needs to be clarified by SCU officials. SCU’s name appears in The Christian Chronicle articles). (See editor's note below.)

A leading characteristic of brethren who are in favor of the Community Church is a down play of Bible doctrine and an arrogant chiding of following the Bible as a "blueprint." Isaiah wrote, "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isa. 8:20). Jesus said, "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them" (Matt. 7:20). Paul wrote, "This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith" (Titus 1:13).

Editor's Note: Alan E. Highers has published the following statement in the January 2001 issue of The Spiritual Sword: "We are happy to note that SCU officials have come forward in a forthright manner in disassociating themselves from the community church movement. The chairman of the Board of Regents states: 'I assure you that we hold not one shred of support for the movement that you have described or any of its related false doctrines.' We appreciate this statement and we are pleased to set the record straight." </font>

__________________________________
<font face=Times New Roman size=2 color=blue>Getwell Church of Christ
1511 Getwell Road
Memphis, TN 38111-7299
(901) 743-0464
</font>
Feel good now Donnie? Feel intellectual about giving Fred a REAL assignment?
It's obvious with sarcastic pathetic banter like yours that this site is nothing more than a cancer.
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Joined: January 2nd, 2005, 6:45 am

November 3rd, 2011, 3:58 am #13

[color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]A REAL assignment! It's a way of communicating or interacting, stupid.

Change Agents!!! Still refusing to say those words??? Acknowledge the presence of your mentors, Dave. I know that you have learned a lot about the change agents more from here than from there. Please don't insult Christ by referring to Him as the greatest change agent on earth. The Lord did not change the church He established and owns. Rather, it is your mentors, the change agents, who are changing the church of our Lord.[/color]
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Dave
Dave

November 4th, 2011, 12:35 am #14

<font face=Times New Roman size=5 color=blue>
THE COMMUNITY CHURCH
</font>
<font face=Times New Roman size=4 color=blue>
A Brief Overview
</font>

<font face=Times New Roman size=3 color=blue>
Gary McDade



The Lord Jesus Christ established his church on the first Pentecost after the resurrection 33 A.D. in Jerusalem, Israel. The church of Christ was purchased with the precious blood of the Son of God (Acts 20:28). As his loving bride, the church wears his sacred name, the church of Christ (Eph. 5:21-33; Rom. 16:16). Jesus Christ is the head of this one bride, which is his body (Eph. 5:23; 1:21-23). And, "there is one body" (Eph. 4:4). In recent times, men have arisen who are ashamed of the name of Christ’s bride and body, "the church of Christ." One example emerges from The Christian Chronicle where a deacon from the former Southlake Church of Christ in Dallas, Texas stated that changing the name to the Southlake Boulevard Church and following a Baptist preacher by the name of Rick Warren through his book, The Purpose-Driven Church, was "removing a barrier to the community" (April, Vol. 57, No. 4). Dozens of examples like this can be cited from the March and April editions of The Christian Chronicle. The names being substituted in the place of the scriptural name "church of Christ" constitute a departure from heaven’s way. Salvation is only in the name of Christ, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Those who have become ashamed of Christ and his sacred name will be condemned, for he said, "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels" (Mk. 8:38).

In the place of heeding the great commission (Matt. 28:18-20) by sowing the good seed of the kingdom, which is the word of God (Lk. 8:11), and being content and honored to be workers together with God (II Cor. 6:1) allowing him to give the increase (I Cor. 3:6), these people are following a so-called "paradigm" or model for church growth from Barrington, Illinois called "Willow Creek Community Church." They speak of "practical" Christian doctrine which is "pragmatic," meaning whatever works to bring in the numbers of people and dollars (The Bridge, Harding Graduate School of Religion, Volume 41, Number 4, July 2000, p. 1). Their goal clearly is to please "people today" or "contemporary Christians" (ibid.). And, from where did Bill Hybels, founder of WCCC, get this model now being so widely imitated among denominational people like Rick Warren and many Christians who formerly considered themselves to be members of the church of Christ? Hybels wrote in Rediscovering Church, "But what could seem like a patterned formula is actually a twenty-year response to the fluid, daily, unpredictable leading of God. The unimpressive truth is that we made the whole thing up as we went along, trusting the Holy Spirit for each next step, rarely seeing which direction the path ahead would take. It was only by following the voice of God--by listening for his particular call to us--that we could move forward with confidence" (p. 53). The Holy Spirit leads, guides, and directs only through his word, the Bible, today (Eph. 6:17; II Tim. 3:16-17). Therefore, taking away the Holy Spirit directly leading Hybels all that is left is, "The unimpressive truth is that we made the whole thing up as we went along. . . . "
A summary of this new model will be given in three points: 1) The strategy for changing the name to the Community Church, 2) the organizational structure of the Community Church, and 3) the evangelistic thrust of the Community Church. Point one, the name Community Church is preferred because traditional names are viewed as carrying unwanted baggage. Contemporary people want to be in charge of the church without old restrictions, so a break with the past is made in accepting a new name. Contemporary people do not want to learn Christian doctrine; they just want to be free to express themselves in whatever way they "feel" the Holy Spirit directly is leading them. Point two, the Community Church is organized around a twofold structure, large group celebrations and small affinity groups or cell groups. The way the professor of Christian doctrine at Harding University Graduate School of Religion in Memphis has organized the Community Church of which he is a shepherd is into small groups of eight to sixteen adults. Large group gatherings are celebrations; small group gatherings are "entry points." Informal dress, contemporary Christian music, testimonials, praise team presentations (music and drama), and hand clapping make up the celebration of the large group meetings. Sharing, praying, evangelizing, and Bible study make up the small group meetings. Point three, the evangelistic thrust of the Community Church centers around targeting the type of people the church wants to evangelize. Most pick younger (late thirties or early forties) people who are well educated and have good incomes. The one or ones in charge find out what that group wants and then sets out to unreservedly give it to them. Somehow granting these "contemporary people" what they want is supposed to generate within them holiness and communion with God.

The source from which the Community Church model or paradigm is making its way into the churches of Christ is out in the open. Sadly, it is the Christian schools. The generation who established these schools for the education of Christian young people in an environment conducive to Christian growth and development based on the inspired word of God are now deceased. Younger men impressed with the soaring expense of operating these enterprises know it will take large sums of money for them to continue to compete for the brightest and best students. Churches now primarily made up of older people have given their all to keep them viable, but their children have married and moved into other cities and communities; their pre-inflation blue-collar-worker dollars no longer are enough. At this point in time, not all of the Christian schools have succumbed to the pressure. They remain worthy of personal and financial support. But, those that are participating in the Community Church movement or are silent about it, thus, facilitating it, are not worthy of another dollar from the pockets of Christian parents who formerly have entrusted their precious children to them for instruction in righteousness (Eph. 5:11).

The schools that are known to be promoting the Community Church from the published sources earlier mentioned are these: Abilene Christian University, Harding University (the academy, undergraduate, and graduate schools are and have supported the Community Church. The dean of the graduate school, Evertt Huffard, is credited with starting the Downtown Church in Memphis way back in 1995. See: Harding Alumni Magazine, August 1995), Oklahoma Christian University, Lipscomb University, Pepperdine University, Rochester College, and Southern Christian University (a retired faculty member, Edward R. Barels, has gone on record in favor of the Community Church, so whether or not SCU itself favors the movement needs to be clarified by SCU officials. SCU’s name appears in The Christian Chronicle articles). (See editor's note below.)

A leading characteristic of brethren who are in favor of the Community Church is a down play of Bible doctrine and an arrogant chiding of following the Bible as a "blueprint." Isaiah wrote, "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isa. 8:20). Jesus said, "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them" (Matt. 7:20). Paul wrote, "This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith" (Titus 1:13).

Editor's Note: Alan E. Highers has published the following statement in the January 2001 issue of The Spiritual Sword: "We are happy to note that SCU officials have come forward in a forthright manner in disassociating themselves from the community church movement. The chairman of the Board of Regents states: 'I assure you that we hold not one shred of support for the movement that you have described or any of its related false doctrines.' We appreciate this statement and we are pleased to set the record straight." </font>

__________________________________
<font face=Times New Roman size=2 color=blue>Getwell Church of Christ
1511 Getwell Road
Memphis, TN 38111-7299
(901) 743-0464
</font>
Stupid, me? I don't feel stupid, even though you have labeled me as such. Its ok.....when you can't take down the message.....try and attack the messenger.
Bring it on Donnie.....I really didn't expect much more from you.

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Joined: January 2nd, 2005, 6:45 am

November 4th, 2011, 1:52 am #15

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

You sound tough a lot of times. So tough that you would call someone a sinner and PERSONALLY judge him as hell-bound. I didn't realize you could be thin-skinned at times. I wasn't calling you "stupid" even if you were. "... ... ..., stupid" is a common, general expression.

Admit it, Dave. you've learned a lot about your mentors, the change agents, from this website. Like it or not.[/color]

P.S.: The contemporary "Christian Rock" music is awesome? The 7-11 music -- repeat the line with 7 words 11 times!!!!! It's the same "Christian Rock" music that refers to God as "awesome." Instead of worshiping the Father in heaven with "AWE" and "REVERENCE."

Now who or what is more "Awesome!" -- Contemporary Christian Music (Rock) or God?
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Dave
Dave

November 5th, 2011, 12:05 am #16

<font face=Times New Roman size=5 color=blue>
THE COMMUNITY CHURCH
</font>
<font face=Times New Roman size=4 color=blue>
A Brief Overview
</font>

<font face=Times New Roman size=3 color=blue>
Gary McDade



The Lord Jesus Christ established his church on the first Pentecost after the resurrection 33 A.D. in Jerusalem, Israel. The church of Christ was purchased with the precious blood of the Son of God (Acts 20:28). As his loving bride, the church wears his sacred name, the church of Christ (Eph. 5:21-33; Rom. 16:16). Jesus Christ is the head of this one bride, which is his body (Eph. 5:23; 1:21-23). And, "there is one body" (Eph. 4:4). In recent times, men have arisen who are ashamed of the name of Christ’s bride and body, "the church of Christ." One example emerges from The Christian Chronicle where a deacon from the former Southlake Church of Christ in Dallas, Texas stated that changing the name to the Southlake Boulevard Church and following a Baptist preacher by the name of Rick Warren through his book, The Purpose-Driven Church, was "removing a barrier to the community" (April, Vol. 57, No. 4). Dozens of examples like this can be cited from the March and April editions of The Christian Chronicle. The names being substituted in the place of the scriptural name "church of Christ" constitute a departure from heaven’s way. Salvation is only in the name of Christ, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Those who have become ashamed of Christ and his sacred name will be condemned, for he said, "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels" (Mk. 8:38).

In the place of heeding the great commission (Matt. 28:18-20) by sowing the good seed of the kingdom, which is the word of God (Lk. 8:11), and being content and honored to be workers together with God (II Cor. 6:1) allowing him to give the increase (I Cor. 3:6), these people are following a so-called "paradigm" or model for church growth from Barrington, Illinois called "Willow Creek Community Church." They speak of "practical" Christian doctrine which is "pragmatic," meaning whatever works to bring in the numbers of people and dollars (The Bridge, Harding Graduate School of Religion, Volume 41, Number 4, July 2000, p. 1). Their goal clearly is to please "people today" or "contemporary Christians" (ibid.). And, from where did Bill Hybels, founder of WCCC, get this model now being so widely imitated among denominational people like Rick Warren and many Christians who formerly considered themselves to be members of the church of Christ? Hybels wrote in Rediscovering Church, "But what could seem like a patterned formula is actually a twenty-year response to the fluid, daily, unpredictable leading of God. The unimpressive truth is that we made the whole thing up as we went along, trusting the Holy Spirit for each next step, rarely seeing which direction the path ahead would take. It was only by following the voice of God--by listening for his particular call to us--that we could move forward with confidence" (p. 53). The Holy Spirit leads, guides, and directs only through his word, the Bible, today (Eph. 6:17; II Tim. 3:16-17). Therefore, taking away the Holy Spirit directly leading Hybels all that is left is, "The unimpressive truth is that we made the whole thing up as we went along. . . . "
A summary of this new model will be given in three points: 1) The strategy for changing the name to the Community Church, 2) the organizational structure of the Community Church, and 3) the evangelistic thrust of the Community Church. Point one, the name Community Church is preferred because traditional names are viewed as carrying unwanted baggage. Contemporary people want to be in charge of the church without old restrictions, so a break with the past is made in accepting a new name. Contemporary people do not want to learn Christian doctrine; they just want to be free to express themselves in whatever way they "feel" the Holy Spirit directly is leading them. Point two, the Community Church is organized around a twofold structure, large group celebrations and small affinity groups or cell groups. The way the professor of Christian doctrine at Harding University Graduate School of Religion in Memphis has organized the Community Church of which he is a shepherd is into small groups of eight to sixteen adults. Large group gatherings are celebrations; small group gatherings are "entry points." Informal dress, contemporary Christian music, testimonials, praise team presentations (music and drama), and hand clapping make up the celebration of the large group meetings. Sharing, praying, evangelizing, and Bible study make up the small group meetings. Point three, the evangelistic thrust of the Community Church centers around targeting the type of people the church wants to evangelize. Most pick younger (late thirties or early forties) people who are well educated and have good incomes. The one or ones in charge find out what that group wants and then sets out to unreservedly give it to them. Somehow granting these "contemporary people" what they want is supposed to generate within them holiness and communion with God.

The source from which the Community Church model or paradigm is making its way into the churches of Christ is out in the open. Sadly, it is the Christian schools. The generation who established these schools for the education of Christian young people in an environment conducive to Christian growth and development based on the inspired word of God are now deceased. Younger men impressed with the soaring expense of operating these enterprises know it will take large sums of money for them to continue to compete for the brightest and best students. Churches now primarily made up of older people have given their all to keep them viable, but their children have married and moved into other cities and communities; their pre-inflation blue-collar-worker dollars no longer are enough. At this point in time, not all of the Christian schools have succumbed to the pressure. They remain worthy of personal and financial support. But, those that are participating in the Community Church movement or are silent about it, thus, facilitating it, are not worthy of another dollar from the pockets of Christian parents who formerly have entrusted their precious children to them for instruction in righteousness (Eph. 5:11).

The schools that are known to be promoting the Community Church from the published sources earlier mentioned are these: Abilene Christian University, Harding University (the academy, undergraduate, and graduate schools are and have supported the Community Church. The dean of the graduate school, Evertt Huffard, is credited with starting the Downtown Church in Memphis way back in 1995. See: Harding Alumni Magazine, August 1995), Oklahoma Christian University, Lipscomb University, Pepperdine University, Rochester College, and Southern Christian University (a retired faculty member, Edward R. Barels, has gone on record in favor of the Community Church, so whether or not SCU itself favors the movement needs to be clarified by SCU officials. SCU’s name appears in The Christian Chronicle articles). (See editor's note below.)

A leading characteristic of brethren who are in favor of the Community Church is a down play of Bible doctrine and an arrogant chiding of following the Bible as a "blueprint." Isaiah wrote, "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isa. 8:20). Jesus said, "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them" (Matt. 7:20). Paul wrote, "This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith" (Titus 1:13).

Editor's Note: Alan E. Highers has published the following statement in the January 2001 issue of The Spiritual Sword: "We are happy to note that SCU officials have come forward in a forthright manner in disassociating themselves from the community church movement. The chairman of the Board of Regents states: 'I assure you that we hold not one shred of support for the movement that you have described or any of its related false doctrines.' We appreciate this statement and we are pleased to set the record straight." </font>

__________________________________
<font face=Times New Roman size=2 color=blue>Getwell Church of Christ
1511 Getwell Road
Memphis, TN 38111-7299
(901) 743-0464
</font>
Donnie said "The 7-11 music -- repeat the line with 7 words 11 times!!!!! It's the same "Christian Rock" music that refers to God as "awesome." "

and whats da matta with that? Something akin to a chant, eh? Don't chant if you don't like it, but quit judging someone else's heart because they don't worship as you would PREFER.
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Ray
Ray

November 7th, 2011, 8:52 pm #17

He has sent redemption to His people;
He has ordained His covenant forever;
Holy and awesome is His name.

from Psalm 111
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Racnor
Racnor

November 8th, 2011, 2:11 am #18

"Holy and awesome is His name."

Amen.



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Jordan
Jordan

November 8th, 2011, 5:24 am #19

<font face=Times New Roman size=5 color=blue>
THE COMMUNITY CHURCH
</font>
<font face=Times New Roman size=4 color=blue>
A Brief Overview
</font>

<font face=Times New Roman size=3 color=blue>
Gary McDade



The Lord Jesus Christ established his church on the first Pentecost after the resurrection 33 A.D. in Jerusalem, Israel. The church of Christ was purchased with the precious blood of the Son of God (Acts 20:28). As his loving bride, the church wears his sacred name, the church of Christ (Eph. 5:21-33; Rom. 16:16). Jesus Christ is the head of this one bride, which is his body (Eph. 5:23; 1:21-23). And, "there is one body" (Eph. 4:4). In recent times, men have arisen who are ashamed of the name of Christ’s bride and body, "the church of Christ." One example emerges from The Christian Chronicle where a deacon from the former Southlake Church of Christ in Dallas, Texas stated that changing the name to the Southlake Boulevard Church and following a Baptist preacher by the name of Rick Warren through his book, The Purpose-Driven Church, was "removing a barrier to the community" (April, Vol. 57, No. 4). Dozens of examples like this can be cited from the March and April editions of The Christian Chronicle. The names being substituted in the place of the scriptural name "church of Christ" constitute a departure from heaven’s way. Salvation is only in the name of Christ, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Those who have become ashamed of Christ and his sacred name will be condemned, for he said, "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels" (Mk. 8:38).

In the place of heeding the great commission (Matt. 28:18-20) by sowing the good seed of the kingdom, which is the word of God (Lk. 8:11), and being content and honored to be workers together with God (II Cor. 6:1) allowing him to give the increase (I Cor. 3:6), these people are following a so-called "paradigm" or model for church growth from Barrington, Illinois called "Willow Creek Community Church." They speak of "practical" Christian doctrine which is "pragmatic," meaning whatever works to bring in the numbers of people and dollars (The Bridge, Harding Graduate School of Religion, Volume 41, Number 4, July 2000, p. 1). Their goal clearly is to please "people today" or "contemporary Christians" (ibid.). And, from where did Bill Hybels, founder of WCCC, get this model now being so widely imitated among denominational people like Rick Warren and many Christians who formerly considered themselves to be members of the church of Christ? Hybels wrote in Rediscovering Church, "But what could seem like a patterned formula is actually a twenty-year response to the fluid, daily, unpredictable leading of God. The unimpressive truth is that we made the whole thing up as we went along, trusting the Holy Spirit for each next step, rarely seeing which direction the path ahead would take. It was only by following the voice of God--by listening for his particular call to us--that we could move forward with confidence" (p. 53). The Holy Spirit leads, guides, and directs only through his word, the Bible, today (Eph. 6:17; II Tim. 3:16-17). Therefore, taking away the Holy Spirit directly leading Hybels all that is left is, "The unimpressive truth is that we made the whole thing up as we went along. . . . "
A summary of this new model will be given in three points: 1) The strategy for changing the name to the Community Church, 2) the organizational structure of the Community Church, and 3) the evangelistic thrust of the Community Church. Point one, the name Community Church is preferred because traditional names are viewed as carrying unwanted baggage. Contemporary people want to be in charge of the church without old restrictions, so a break with the past is made in accepting a new name. Contemporary people do not want to learn Christian doctrine; they just want to be free to express themselves in whatever way they "feel" the Holy Spirit directly is leading them. Point two, the Community Church is organized around a twofold structure, large group celebrations and small affinity groups or cell groups. The way the professor of Christian doctrine at Harding University Graduate School of Religion in Memphis has organized the Community Church of which he is a shepherd is into small groups of eight to sixteen adults. Large group gatherings are celebrations; small group gatherings are "entry points." Informal dress, contemporary Christian music, testimonials, praise team presentations (music and drama), and hand clapping make up the celebration of the large group meetings. Sharing, praying, evangelizing, and Bible study make up the small group meetings. Point three, the evangelistic thrust of the Community Church centers around targeting the type of people the church wants to evangelize. Most pick younger (late thirties or early forties) people who are well educated and have good incomes. The one or ones in charge find out what that group wants and then sets out to unreservedly give it to them. Somehow granting these "contemporary people" what they want is supposed to generate within them holiness and communion with God.

The source from which the Community Church model or paradigm is making its way into the churches of Christ is out in the open. Sadly, it is the Christian schools. The generation who established these schools for the education of Christian young people in an environment conducive to Christian growth and development based on the inspired word of God are now deceased. Younger men impressed with the soaring expense of operating these enterprises know it will take large sums of money for them to continue to compete for the brightest and best students. Churches now primarily made up of older people have given their all to keep them viable, but their children have married and moved into other cities and communities; their pre-inflation blue-collar-worker dollars no longer are enough. At this point in time, not all of the Christian schools have succumbed to the pressure. They remain worthy of personal and financial support. But, those that are participating in the Community Church movement or are silent about it, thus, facilitating it, are not worthy of another dollar from the pockets of Christian parents who formerly have entrusted their precious children to them for instruction in righteousness (Eph. 5:11).

The schools that are known to be promoting the Community Church from the published sources earlier mentioned are these: Abilene Christian University, Harding University (the academy, undergraduate, and graduate schools are and have supported the Community Church. The dean of the graduate school, Evertt Huffard, is credited with starting the Downtown Church in Memphis way back in 1995. See: Harding Alumni Magazine, August 1995), Oklahoma Christian University, Lipscomb University, Pepperdine University, Rochester College, and Southern Christian University (a retired faculty member, Edward R. Barels, has gone on record in favor of the Community Church, so whether or not SCU itself favors the movement needs to be clarified by SCU officials. SCU’s name appears in The Christian Chronicle articles). (See editor's note below.)

A leading characteristic of brethren who are in favor of the Community Church is a down play of Bible doctrine and an arrogant chiding of following the Bible as a "blueprint." Isaiah wrote, "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isa. 8:20). Jesus said, "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them" (Matt. 7:20). Paul wrote, "This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith" (Titus 1:13).

Editor's Note: Alan E. Highers has published the following statement in the January 2001 issue of The Spiritual Sword: "We are happy to note that SCU officials have come forward in a forthright manner in disassociating themselves from the community church movement. The chairman of the Board of Regents states: 'I assure you that we hold not one shred of support for the movement that you have described or any of its related false doctrines.' We appreciate this statement and we are pleased to set the record straight." </font>

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<font face=Times New Roman size=2 color=blue>Getwell Church of Christ
1511 Getwell Road
Memphis, TN 38111-7299
(901) 743-0464
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This is beyond a shadow of a doubt the most divisive website I have every seen. You have created a website for nothing more than tearing apart the body of Christ. This spirit of disunity is disgusting.
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Joined: January 2nd, 2005, 6:45 am

November 8th, 2011, 5:58 am #20

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

No. This website is not causing the division. This site is showing you realism -- the ongoing division caused and created by those who are not satisfied with the simplicity of the gospel of Christ and the teachings of the apostles.

If you read and study more from this website, you will constantly see for yourself how we have described a particular group of "Christians" operating in the brotherhood -- they are a.k.a. "Change Agents."

I would encourage you to read with an open mind. Perhaps, you haven't heard before of change agents -- the wolves in sheep's clothing -- who are very unhappy with and very critical of the the New Testament church that Christ established and built. They want more than anything else to conform to how and what society and culture dictate in terms of what the body of Christ should be by their own standards, rather than in accordance with New Testament specifications.

If you are not that concerned about how these apostates are attempting to restructure the church and transforming it into Community Church-ism, then this is the wrong site for you. I hope that's not the case with you.

This is a conservative-leaning website, but we welcome those of liberal, progressive persuasion, as you can see from the ongoing discussions. Its main objective is to provide information to still-peaceful congregations, as well as individual Christians to beware -- the change agents are seeking those whom they may devour (divide, conquer and acquire!!!).[/color]
Last edited by Donnie.Cruz on November 8th, 2011, 6:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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