TO CHANGE OR NOT TO CHANGE? (Part 1)

TO CHANGE OR NOT TO CHANGE? (Part 1)

John Waddey
John Waddey

March 24th, 2003, 5:53 pm #1

This is one very important question that confronts each congregation of the church of Christ. The decision to change or not to change God’s will for the church must not be made by its own leadership without God’s direction and authorization. This thread has been initiated for the purpose of addressing this question, and a series of articles by John Waddey will continue to be posted.

Here’s introducing John Waddey, a native of Nashville, Tennessee and a lifelong member of the church of Christ, who has served churches of Christ in Mississippi, Colorado, Tennessee and Arizona. He has vast experiences in training young ministers and in Christian journalism. “He serves as minister of the West Bell Road Church of Christ in Surprise, AZ… He sees the internet as a wonderful tool, which God has provided for the spread of the gospel and is eager to share his knowledge with truth-seekers around the world.” For more information about the author and editor of the self-descriptive site, please link to:

Christianity: Then and Now

Please learn about what the author has to say regarding the “winds” blowing across the face of the brotherhood, and let us join the efforts against a “spiritual war” being waged against congregations before they are taken over and swept into apostasy.

Donnie Cruz
____________________________________________________________________

<font size=5>“TO CHANGE OR NOT TO CHANGE?” </font>
<font size=4>by John Waddey</font>
  • <font color=blue>Churches of Christ are standing at a critical crossroads. We face the same situation our forefathers faced in the half-century following the Civil War. Shall we continue in the old paths of New Testament Christianity that our predecessors in the faith traveled, or shall we change our direction? The road to the right is the road of ultra conservatism that inevitably leads to radicalism, faction and division. The road to the left is the road of liberalism. It leads away from the simplicity of the gospel to a denominational version of Christianity that stands without Christ's approval. It is the approach being promoted by those who are advocating “change” for our churches.

    A hundred years ago the majority of those who were part of the movement to restore original Christianity chose the same road the agents of change are now promoting. Today they are identified as the Disciples of Christ/Christian Churches. The issues that distinguished that movement last century and the movement for change of today are virtually identical. When the digression occurred in the past, the surviving remnant, led by great men such as David Lipscomb, James A. Harding, Austin McGary and J. D. Tant had to rebuild, almost from scratch. But God blessed their efforts and today well over two million souls are identified with the Churches of Christ around the world.

    Today winds are blowing gale-force across the face of our beloved brotherhood. They are urging us to abandon the old ways for new ways learned from our denominational neighbors. These winds, originating primarily from our large universities, are sure to drive the ship of Zion on the rocks of destruction, should they prevail.

    The purpose of this site [http://www.christianity-then-and-now.com/] is to address the changes being advocated; to examine them in light of Scripture. Each month we will post our journal, Christianity: Then and Now. We will review the books of the change agents as well as useful books that answer them. We will answer the questions our readers submit that relate to the problems before us. Additional materials will be posted on a regular basis. Should you find any of them useful, we encourage you to download them and distribute them, as you will.

    Please join us in prayer that God will bless this effort and use this teaching site to the honor and glory of his Son and for the good of his church. Pray that we will do only good and no harm at all. If we can help one preaching brother to clarify his thinking and avoid taking the road to the left; if we can assist one eldership in protecting their flock; if we can help to reclaim one soul who has been beguiled by false teachers; if we can light a candle to guide one or a hundred in the way of Truth, our efforts will be well repaid.

    Sincerely in Christ,

    John Waddey
    </font>
____________________________________________________________________

<font size=5> A TEAM EFFORT TO PROTECT THE CHURCH FROM HARM </font>
<font size=4>by John Waddey </font>
  • <font color=blue>A spiritual war is being waged against the brotherhood of churches of Christ. Across the nation battles are being fought as agents of change work to gain control of congregations, schools, and mission outposts. They are well placed, well-funded and well prepared for their conquest. They are fully aware of what they are doing and where they are going. They are highly motivated and confident of victory. Unfortunately the majority of those who are their intended victims are unaware of the danger facing them. Some realize there is a problem but seem not to perceive the extent of it and the imminent danger it poses. If we are to effectively block this takeover of congregations, which will result in their being swept into apostasy, those who love the Lord and his church must take action. We must act now and act decisively. We must recruit an army of volunteers and we must educate and inform our fellow-Christians.

    AN OPERATION IN WHICH YOU CAN HELP

    We need … Christians who have access to the Internet to join hands with us in an educational project … addressing some aspect of the change movement among our brethren. Some of the articles will remind us of the Biblical reasons why we believe and worship as we do. They will address those items being challenged by the promoters of change. Other articles will address the errors or fallacies of the false teachers. Some will review their books and speeches.

    … When you receive the article, read it and then forward it to ten or more members of the church on your mailing list with a note encouraging them to read it and forward it to Christians on their list. Such an effort has the potential to reach thousands of brethren … they will receive a brief lesson that will remind them of who we are, what we believe and why. They will be reminded of the dangers of the change movement … (Hopefully they can be elders, preachers, teachers, but any brother or sister in Christ). You are encouraged to send it to the congregations in your area who receive e-mail. Send it forth with a fervent prayer that God will bless your efforts and save his church from being swept away.

    Thank you for caring enough to get involved in the most important thing in the world.

    Yours for the church we love,
    </font>

    John Waddey, Editor
    Christianity: Then and Now

    E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
____________________________________________________________________
Last edited by Donnie.Cruz on February 27th, 2005, 8:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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John Waddey
John Waddey

March 24th, 2003, 6:01 pm #2

To the Christians in Rome Paul wrote, "All the churches of Christ salute you" (Rom. 16:16). Other names are also ascribed to the Lord's church. In I Corinthians it is called "the church of God" (1:2). Paul also called it "the church of the Lord" (Acts 20:28). Sometimes it was simply called the church.

This shows us that Christ did not appoint a single, exclusive name for his church. Since in heaven's plan there only one church, there was no need for a specific name to distinguish it from other religious bodies.

In a world of over 2,000 denominations, all claiming to be Christ's church, we identify ourselves as Churches of Christ. We do so because it is clearly a biblical name that God approves of. It tells the world to whom we belong. It gives the glory to our founder and savior. While not the only name that a body of Christians can scripturally use, it is highly appropriate for many reasons.

* Christ established the church (Matt. 16:18).
* He called it "my church" (Matt. 16:18).
* He gave himself for the church, dying for her (Eph. 5:25).
* In his death on Calvary, he purchased the church with his shed blood
(Acts 20:28).
* The church is his spiritual body, of which he is head (Eph. 1:22-23).
* He is the chief cornerstone of the church (Eph. 2:20).
* It is his house (Heb. 3:6).
* The church is his bride (II Cor. 11:2).
* He is the savior of the church (Eph. 5:23).
* He adds to his church all who are saved (Acts 2:47).
* The church is his family (Eph. 3:15).

Given all of these facts, it seems entirely reasonable that we call the church "the church of Christ." This holy name gives our Lord recognition for his role in giving us the church, preserving and protecting her. It acknowledges our dependence upon him. It expresses our love for him who saved us. It glorifies him as head of the church.

Paul declared that he was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:16), nor should we ever be ashamed of, embarrassed by, or apologetic for this holy name we wear.

In Christ,

John Waddey

Additional studies can be seen at: www.christianity-then-and-now.com
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Kenneth Sublett
Kenneth Sublett

March 24th, 2003, 6:43 pm #3

John, I was just looking at your "An Outlined Introduction to the Bible, Volume 2. I often think that if we had good outlines we would not be so reckless as to grab a good sounding PROOF TEXT without having a clue as to its true meaning.

Now, if I had authority I like the word ASSEMBLY or EKKLESIA or SYNAGOGUE better than "church" which has some historical baggage. However, the historical evidence would be against me.

The church of Christ is specific whereas the word GOD can mean the one True God or whatever "god" we worship. In the case of the NEW STYLE WORSHIP it is clear that they are GIVING HEED to the musicians and performance preachers of falsehood and therefore are WORSHIPING the idolatry of talent. Therefore, it may be appropriate for Jesus Christ Who has already removed their candlestick to ALSO remove His name off the church sign.

I have been a collector of CHURCH NAMES and it is clear that everyone claimed it to be the church of Christ. What people see as the CATHOLIC CHURCH as the "original" was once an apostate church of Christ.

Only radical repudiators of the Word of Christ and inventors of the CORE GOSPEL would deliberately remove the name of CHRIST. Here are some links to which others are invited to submit additions.

http://www.piney.com/ChofChristName.html

Your point is well taken: those lusting to remove the ONLY Name have already cast Him out of their hearts.

Thanks.

Ken Sublett
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John Waddey
John Waddey

April 12th, 2003, 7:56 pm #4

This is one very important question that confronts each congregation of the church of Christ. The decision to change or not to change God’s will for the church must not be made by its own leadership without God’s direction and authorization. This thread has been initiated for the purpose of addressing this question, and a series of articles by John Waddey will continue to be posted.

Here’s introducing John Waddey, a native of Nashville, Tennessee and a lifelong member of the church of Christ, who has served churches of Christ in Mississippi, Colorado, Tennessee and Arizona. He has vast experiences in training young ministers and in Christian journalism. “He serves as minister of the West Bell Road Church of Christ in Surprise, AZ… He sees the internet as a wonderful tool, which God has provided for the spread of the gospel and is eager to share his knowledge with truth-seekers around the world.” For more information about the author and editor of the self-descriptive site, please link to:

Christianity: Then and Now

Please learn about what the author has to say regarding the “winds” blowing across the face of the brotherhood, and let us join the efforts against a “spiritual war” being waged against congregations before they are taken over and swept into apostasy.

Donnie Cruz
____________________________________________________________________

<font size=5>“TO CHANGE OR NOT TO CHANGE?” </font>
<font size=4>by John Waddey</font>
  • <font color=blue>Churches of Christ are standing at a critical crossroads. We face the same situation our forefathers faced in the half-century following the Civil War. Shall we continue in the old paths of New Testament Christianity that our predecessors in the faith traveled, or shall we change our direction? The road to the right is the road of ultra conservatism that inevitably leads to radicalism, faction and division. The road to the left is the road of liberalism. It leads away from the simplicity of the gospel to a denominational version of Christianity that stands without Christ's approval. It is the approach being promoted by those who are advocating “change” for our churches.

    A hundred years ago the majority of those who were part of the movement to restore original Christianity chose the same road the agents of change are now promoting. Today they are identified as the Disciples of Christ/Christian Churches. The issues that distinguished that movement last century and the movement for change of today are virtually identical. When the digression occurred in the past, the surviving remnant, led by great men such as David Lipscomb, James A. Harding, Austin McGary and J. D. Tant had to rebuild, almost from scratch. But God blessed their efforts and today well over two million souls are identified with the Churches of Christ around the world.

    Today winds are blowing gale-force across the face of our beloved brotherhood. They are urging us to abandon the old ways for new ways learned from our denominational neighbors. These winds, originating primarily from our large universities, are sure to drive the ship of Zion on the rocks of destruction, should they prevail.

    The purpose of this site [http://www.christianity-then-and-now.com/] is to address the changes being advocated; to examine them in light of Scripture. Each month we will post our journal, Christianity: Then and Now. We will review the books of the change agents as well as useful books that answer them. We will answer the questions our readers submit that relate to the problems before us. Additional materials will be posted on a regular basis. Should you find any of them useful, we encourage you to download them and distribute them, as you will.

    Please join us in prayer that God will bless this effort and use this teaching site to the honor and glory of his Son and for the good of his church. Pray that we will do only good and no harm at all. If we can help one preaching brother to clarify his thinking and avoid taking the road to the left; if we can assist one eldership in protecting their flock; if we can help to reclaim one soul who has been beguiled by false teachers; if we can light a candle to guide one or a hundred in the way of Truth, our efforts will be well repaid.

    Sincerely in Christ,

    John Waddey
    </font>
____________________________________________________________________

<font size=5> A TEAM EFFORT TO PROTECT THE CHURCH FROM HARM </font>
<font size=4>by John Waddey </font>
  • <font color=blue>A spiritual war is being waged against the brotherhood of churches of Christ. Across the nation battles are being fought as agents of change work to gain control of congregations, schools, and mission outposts. They are well placed, well-funded and well prepared for their conquest. They are fully aware of what they are doing and where they are going. They are highly motivated and confident of victory. Unfortunately the majority of those who are their intended victims are unaware of the danger facing them. Some realize there is a problem but seem not to perceive the extent of it and the imminent danger it poses. If we are to effectively block this takeover of congregations, which will result in their being swept into apostasy, those who love the Lord and his church must take action. We must act now and act decisively. We must recruit an army of volunteers and we must educate and inform our fellow-Christians.

    AN OPERATION IN WHICH YOU CAN HELP

    We need … Christians who have access to the Internet to join hands with us in an educational project … addressing some aspect of the change movement among our brethren. Some of the articles will remind us of the Biblical reasons why we believe and worship as we do. They will address those items being challenged by the promoters of change. Other articles will address the errors or fallacies of the false teachers. Some will review their books and speeches.

    … When you receive the article, read it and then forward it to ten or more members of the church on your mailing list with a note encouraging them to read it and forward it to Christians on their list. Such an effort has the potential to reach thousands of brethren … they will receive a brief lesson that will remind them of who we are, what we believe and why. They will be reminded of the dangers of the change movement … (Hopefully they can be elders, preachers, teachers, but any brother or sister in Christ). You are encouraged to send it to the congregations in your area who receive e-mail. Send it forth with a fervent prayer that God will bless your efforts and save his church from being swept away.

    Thank you for caring enough to get involved in the most important thing in the world.

    Yours for the church we love,
    </font>

    John Waddey, Editor
    Christianity: Then and Now

    E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
____________________________________________________________________
Without an established code of law and authority, a kingdom cannot long exist. If its subjects refuse to submit to the established authority, a nation will soon collapse. A kingdom whose citizens are divided in their allegiance to conflicting sources of authority is doomed to failure. These points are conceded by all, yet there is utter confusion as to the established law and authority in Christianity. Folks are trying to serve God, when they have not learned or accepted the authority established by God.

CONTEMPORARY THEORIES ABOUT RELIGIOUS AUTHORITY

* In Roman Catholicism it is argued that the church, with its pope and his cardinals, has the authority to interpret the Bible and to legislate law for the church. The history of Catholicism reveals the fallacy of this approach to authority. Churches are composed of fallible, often sinful, men. God made Christ to be the head of his Church (Eph. 1:22). That authority he has not surrendered to anyone.

* The larger Protestant churches look to their creedal statements as authoritative. Yet they find it necessary to revise them every few years. Yesterday’s sins are today’s privileges.

* Traditions from the past are revered as authoritative by some. Yet Jesus warned against traditions that make “void the word of God” (Matt. 15:8-9).

* The founding fathers of a denomination may be looked to as the voice of authority. But no man has the right to start his own church or to legislate for the people of God. It is just such men who are responsible for the mass confusion in the Christendom today.

* Most denominational bodies have conventions where church leaders decide what they will believe and do.

* Many moderns view human reason as the final authority in their religion.

* God reminded the Hebrews “... my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith Jehovah. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Is. 55:8-9). Reason subjected to the Revelation of God is man’s most valuable asset. But when exalted beyond its proper realm, reason is the cause of his alienation.

* Multitudes see conscience as their authority in religion. Solomon said, “There is a way that seemeth right to a man but the ends thereof is the way of death” (Prov. 16:25). The conscience must be trained in truth before it can safely lead us; and God’s Word is that truth (John 17:17). Feelings are not a safe guide.

WHERE DID GOD PLACE THE AUTHORITY IN CHRISTIANITY?

All authority has been given unto the victorious Christ (Matt. 28:18). He is head over all things to the church (Eph. 1:22). His word will judge us in the last day (John 12:48). Jesus delegated his authority to his apostles, saying, Go teach all nations, baptizing them and “teaching them to observe all things... I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20). Their writings, our New Testament, is the only authority we possess. Those who seek to please God, speak and act only as Scripture authorizes. Peter wrote, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God” (I Pet. 4:11). Thus the early church continued steadfastly in the apostles teaching” (Acts 2:42). John warns, “Whosoever ... abideth not in the teaching of Christ, hath not God: he that abideth in the teaching the same hath both the Father and the Son” (II John 9). The New Testament of Jesus is the absolute and only authority for Christ’s church and those who wish to please Him will look to it for direction in every matter of faith, worship and practice. Such is a distinguishing mark of a body of people who are truly and only, a church of Christ (Rom. 16:16). JHW

------------------------------------------------------
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John Waddey
John Waddey

April 17th, 2003, 9:23 pm #5

This is one very important question that confronts each congregation of the church of Christ. The decision to change or not to change God’s will for the church must not be made by its own leadership without God’s direction and authorization. This thread has been initiated for the purpose of addressing this question, and a series of articles by John Waddey will continue to be posted.

Here’s introducing John Waddey, a native of Nashville, Tennessee and a lifelong member of the church of Christ, who has served churches of Christ in Mississippi, Colorado, Tennessee and Arizona. He has vast experiences in training young ministers and in Christian journalism. “He serves as minister of the West Bell Road Church of Christ in Surprise, AZ… He sees the internet as a wonderful tool, which God has provided for the spread of the gospel and is eager to share his knowledge with truth-seekers around the world.” For more information about the author and editor of the self-descriptive site, please link to:

Christianity: Then and Now

Please learn about what the author has to say regarding the “winds” blowing across the face of the brotherhood, and let us join the efforts against a “spiritual war” being waged against congregations before they are taken over and swept into apostasy.

Donnie Cruz
____________________________________________________________________

<font size=5>“TO CHANGE OR NOT TO CHANGE?” </font>
<font size=4>by John Waddey</font>
  • <font color=blue>Churches of Christ are standing at a critical crossroads. We face the same situation our forefathers faced in the half-century following the Civil War. Shall we continue in the old paths of New Testament Christianity that our predecessors in the faith traveled, or shall we change our direction? The road to the right is the road of ultra conservatism that inevitably leads to radicalism, faction and division. The road to the left is the road of liberalism. It leads away from the simplicity of the gospel to a denominational version of Christianity that stands without Christ's approval. It is the approach being promoted by those who are advocating “change” for our churches.

    A hundred years ago the majority of those who were part of the movement to restore original Christianity chose the same road the agents of change are now promoting. Today they are identified as the Disciples of Christ/Christian Churches. The issues that distinguished that movement last century and the movement for change of today are virtually identical. When the digression occurred in the past, the surviving remnant, led by great men such as David Lipscomb, James A. Harding, Austin McGary and J. D. Tant had to rebuild, almost from scratch. But God blessed their efforts and today well over two million souls are identified with the Churches of Christ around the world.

    Today winds are blowing gale-force across the face of our beloved brotherhood. They are urging us to abandon the old ways for new ways learned from our denominational neighbors. These winds, originating primarily from our large universities, are sure to drive the ship of Zion on the rocks of destruction, should they prevail.

    The purpose of this site [http://www.christianity-then-and-now.com/] is to address the changes being advocated; to examine them in light of Scripture. Each month we will post our journal, Christianity: Then and Now. We will review the books of the change agents as well as useful books that answer them. We will answer the questions our readers submit that relate to the problems before us. Additional materials will be posted on a regular basis. Should you find any of them useful, we encourage you to download them and distribute them, as you will.

    Please join us in prayer that God will bless this effort and use this teaching site to the honor and glory of his Son and for the good of his church. Pray that we will do only good and no harm at all. If we can help one preaching brother to clarify his thinking and avoid taking the road to the left; if we can assist one eldership in protecting their flock; if we can help to reclaim one soul who has been beguiled by false teachers; if we can light a candle to guide one or a hundred in the way of Truth, our efforts will be well repaid.

    Sincerely in Christ,

    John Waddey
    </font>
____________________________________________________________________

<font size=5> A TEAM EFFORT TO PROTECT THE CHURCH FROM HARM </font>
<font size=4>by John Waddey </font>
  • <font color=blue>A spiritual war is being waged against the brotherhood of churches of Christ. Across the nation battles are being fought as agents of change work to gain control of congregations, schools, and mission outposts. They are well placed, well-funded and well prepared for their conquest. They are fully aware of what they are doing and where they are going. They are highly motivated and confident of victory. Unfortunately the majority of those who are their intended victims are unaware of the danger facing them. Some realize there is a problem but seem not to perceive the extent of it and the imminent danger it poses. If we are to effectively block this takeover of congregations, which will result in their being swept into apostasy, those who love the Lord and his church must take action. We must act now and act decisively. We must recruit an army of volunteers and we must educate and inform our fellow-Christians.

    AN OPERATION IN WHICH YOU CAN HELP

    We need … Christians who have access to the Internet to join hands with us in an educational project … addressing some aspect of the change movement among our brethren. Some of the articles will remind us of the Biblical reasons why we believe and worship as we do. They will address those items being challenged by the promoters of change. Other articles will address the errors or fallacies of the false teachers. Some will review their books and speeches.

    … When you receive the article, read it and then forward it to ten or more members of the church on your mailing list with a note encouraging them to read it and forward it to Christians on their list. Such an effort has the potential to reach thousands of brethren … they will receive a brief lesson that will remind them of who we are, what we believe and why. They will be reminded of the dangers of the change movement … (Hopefully they can be elders, preachers, teachers, but any brother or sister in Christ). You are encouraged to send it to the congregations in your area who receive e-mail. Send it forth with a fervent prayer that God will bless your efforts and save his church from being swept away.

    Thank you for caring enough to get involved in the most important thing in the world.

    Yours for the church we love,
    </font>

    John Waddey, Editor
    Christianity: Then and Now

    E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
____________________________________________________________________
Waves of error are sweeping over the brotherhood of churches of Christ, driven by men whom we have come to know as “agents of change.” Unfortunately, this destructive movement has already attained great momentum. It has captured some of our major universities and numerous churches, including some of our largest and most influential congregations. If we are going to save the church from being swept away in its entirety and effectively block the advance of this pernicious error, we must rally a band of faithful men and get to work immediately. Unfortunately most of our brethren are idly standing by, either totally unaware of the problem, or unsure about what to do. A multitude are indifferent to the problem, not willing to be involved in anything controversial. In the meanwhile, the proponents of change are aggressively and evangelistically advancing their cause.

We need a thousand faithful brethren who love the Lord and his church and are willing to get seriously involved in this endeavor. We must establish a network of men who will stand together in the defense of the faith once delivered (Jude 3), and then coordinate our efforts for maximum success. A thousand men, strategically placed across the nation, could effectively block the advances of the promoters of change and contain those pockets already under their influence.

* Each man must go to work immediately to inform and fortify himself and then do the same for the church with which he is associated. He would try to get them concerned and involved in the effort.

* Each man must resolve to be proactive, taking specific steps calculated to educate, inform and fortify the faith of his brethren and to block the spread of the error.

* Each man needs to select a geographic area for which he will personally be responsible by laboring to shield and protect those in that area from the incursions of the change agents.

* This is the strategy: Each man will volunteer to provide a steady flow of information to the leaders of every congregation in a given city, county, or even a state, depending on the number of congregations in that area. Ideally he will live in the immediate area, but if we have no volunteer who lives in an area, a brother from another area could be responsible for caring for it. For example, a brother could easily mail all the churches in Wyoming, or Delaware. In the states where we have many churches, one could be responsible for a city, or for a single county. Once a month he will mail the preachers and elders of the congregations in his chosen field a newsletter or bulletin of helpful information on the change movement. He could copy and mail Christianity Then and Now, or he could provide the funds and we will mail them from here. He could collect good materials from many sources, copy and forward them to his neighbors. He might wish to start his own, local newsletter. He could recommend useful papers or books on the topics under attack. He could invite those in his area for occasional get-togethers where they could discuss the problems at hand. He would lend aid and encouragement to every faithful brother and cause in his area and similarly refuse to lend such encouragement to the promoters of unscriptural changes. He would need to write letters and make calls of encouragement to those who are struggling to maintain the faith. He would actively look for opportunities to encourage those who are weak or faltering in the face of pressures from the opposition. He needs to be a source of information and help to those who are under attack or who need information to strengthen their faith and that of their congregations.

* He should do his work with a kind and brotherly spirit and avoid sarcasm, ridicule and a dictatorial attitude. He should also network with other faithful men across the country so he could share pertinent information with them and strengthen their hands.

* This network will be built, step by step as new helpers are found. We will use the Internet, mail and phone as needed.

* This network will be a voluntary relationship of concerned Christians, with no authority over anyone, with no interest or desire in making laws or binding our judgments on others. We will have no officers, no written creedal standard, save the New Testament of Christ. Our sole purposes will be to strengthen the faith of our brethren in New Testament Christianity and to oppose the inroads of false teachers promoting unscriptural changes for our people.

We are up against a serious challenge. The goal of the change movement is to remold and shape the Lord’s church into a denomination such as the “Independent ‘Nondenominational’ Baptist type of Churches” or the Christian Churches. At this point the momentum is in their favor. If the church is to survive for the next generation as the faithful body of New Testament Christians, we must act immediately. Would you be interested in being one of the thousand sentries that will be set for the defense of the gospel (Phil. 1:16)? If so, please contact us at once at 12630 W. Foxfire Dr., Sun City West, AZ 85375, or

e-mail: johnwaddey@aol.com
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John Waddey
John Waddey

April 17th, 2003, 9:35 pm #6

This is one very important question that confronts each congregation of the church of Christ. The decision to change or not to change God’s will for the church must not be made by its own leadership without God’s direction and authorization. This thread has been initiated for the purpose of addressing this question, and a series of articles by John Waddey will continue to be posted.

Here’s introducing John Waddey, a native of Nashville, Tennessee and a lifelong member of the church of Christ, who has served churches of Christ in Mississippi, Colorado, Tennessee and Arizona. He has vast experiences in training young ministers and in Christian journalism. “He serves as minister of the West Bell Road Church of Christ in Surprise, AZ… He sees the internet as a wonderful tool, which God has provided for the spread of the gospel and is eager to share his knowledge with truth-seekers around the world.” For more information about the author and editor of the self-descriptive site, please link to:

Christianity: Then and Now

Please learn about what the author has to say regarding the “winds” blowing across the face of the brotherhood, and let us join the efforts against a “spiritual war” being waged against congregations before they are taken over and swept into apostasy.

Donnie Cruz
____________________________________________________________________

<font size=5>“TO CHANGE OR NOT TO CHANGE?” </font>
<font size=4>by John Waddey</font>
  • <font color=blue>Churches of Christ are standing at a critical crossroads. We face the same situation our forefathers faced in the half-century following the Civil War. Shall we continue in the old paths of New Testament Christianity that our predecessors in the faith traveled, or shall we change our direction? The road to the right is the road of ultra conservatism that inevitably leads to radicalism, faction and division. The road to the left is the road of liberalism. It leads away from the simplicity of the gospel to a denominational version of Christianity that stands without Christ's approval. It is the approach being promoted by those who are advocating “change” for our churches.

    A hundred years ago the majority of those who were part of the movement to restore original Christianity chose the same road the agents of change are now promoting. Today they are identified as the Disciples of Christ/Christian Churches. The issues that distinguished that movement last century and the movement for change of today are virtually identical. When the digression occurred in the past, the surviving remnant, led by great men such as David Lipscomb, James A. Harding, Austin McGary and J. D. Tant had to rebuild, almost from scratch. But God blessed their efforts and today well over two million souls are identified with the Churches of Christ around the world.

    Today winds are blowing gale-force across the face of our beloved brotherhood. They are urging us to abandon the old ways for new ways learned from our denominational neighbors. These winds, originating primarily from our large universities, are sure to drive the ship of Zion on the rocks of destruction, should they prevail.

    The purpose of this site [http://www.christianity-then-and-now.com/] is to address the changes being advocated; to examine them in light of Scripture. Each month we will post our journal, Christianity: Then and Now. We will review the books of the change agents as well as useful books that answer them. We will answer the questions our readers submit that relate to the problems before us. Additional materials will be posted on a regular basis. Should you find any of them useful, we encourage you to download them and distribute them, as you will.

    Please join us in prayer that God will bless this effort and use this teaching site to the honor and glory of his Son and for the good of his church. Pray that we will do only good and no harm at all. If we can help one preaching brother to clarify his thinking and avoid taking the road to the left; if we can assist one eldership in protecting their flock; if we can help to reclaim one soul who has been beguiled by false teachers; if we can light a candle to guide one or a hundred in the way of Truth, our efforts will be well repaid.

    Sincerely in Christ,

    John Waddey
    </font>
____________________________________________________________________

<font size=5> A TEAM EFFORT TO PROTECT THE CHURCH FROM HARM </font>
<font size=4>by John Waddey </font>
  • <font color=blue>A spiritual war is being waged against the brotherhood of churches of Christ. Across the nation battles are being fought as agents of change work to gain control of congregations, schools, and mission outposts. They are well placed, well-funded and well prepared for their conquest. They are fully aware of what they are doing and where they are going. They are highly motivated and confident of victory. Unfortunately the majority of those who are their intended victims are unaware of the danger facing them. Some realize there is a problem but seem not to perceive the extent of it and the imminent danger it poses. If we are to effectively block this takeover of congregations, which will result in their being swept into apostasy, those who love the Lord and his church must take action. We must act now and act decisively. We must recruit an army of volunteers and we must educate and inform our fellow-Christians.

    AN OPERATION IN WHICH YOU CAN HELP

    We need … Christians who have access to the Internet to join hands with us in an educational project … addressing some aspect of the change movement among our brethren. Some of the articles will remind us of the Biblical reasons why we believe and worship as we do. They will address those items being challenged by the promoters of change. Other articles will address the errors or fallacies of the false teachers. Some will review their books and speeches.

    … When you receive the article, read it and then forward it to ten or more members of the church on your mailing list with a note encouraging them to read it and forward it to Christians on their list. Such an effort has the potential to reach thousands of brethren … they will receive a brief lesson that will remind them of who we are, what we believe and why. They will be reminded of the dangers of the change movement … (Hopefully they can be elders, preachers, teachers, but any brother or sister in Christ). You are encouraged to send it to the congregations in your area who receive e-mail. Send it forth with a fervent prayer that God will bless your efforts and save his church from being swept away.

    Thank you for caring enough to get involved in the most important thing in the world.

    Yours for the church we love,
    </font>

    John Waddey, Editor
    Christianity: Then and Now

    E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
____________________________________________________________________
* Acceptable worship must be Biblical, i.e., according to the instructions God has given us. Jesus said, “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven” Acceptable worship must be Biblical, i.e., according to the instructions God has given (Matt. 7:21).

* It must be reverent, i.e., showing proper respect and deference to the great God we are approaching (Heb. 12:13).

* It must be with pure hearts and lives. “Draw nigh unto God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded” (Jas. 4:8).

* `Worship should be with joyful hearts. “My mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips” (Ps. 63:5).

* God expects our worship to proceed from our minds as well as from our emotions. We must worship with the spirit and the understanding (I Cor. 14:15).

* Pleasing worship will be whole-hearted. We must love the Lord our God will all our heart, soul and mind (Matt. 22:37). Half-heart or indifferent worship is not acceptable to Him.

* True worship will be offered with enthusiasm. “Serve Jehovah with gladness” (Ps. 100:2). Like David, we should be glad when they say to us, “Let us go unto the house of Jehovah” (Ps. 122:1).

* We should worship the Lord with the best we have to offer. “But whatsoever hath a blemish that shall ye not offer: for it shall not be acceptable for you” (Lev. 22:20). Give God your best attention and effort in worship and your best gifts as offerings.

Remember that God is not so desperate for worship that He will accept any scraps or second rate efforts we toss Him. There is no greater blessing than to come before the Creator in adoring worship and be accepted by Him. There is no greater loss that to come before him in an unacceptable way and be rejected.

JHW
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John Waddey
John Waddey

April 18th, 2003, 2:06 pm #7

This is one very important question that confronts each congregation of the church of Christ. The decision to change or not to change God’s will for the church must not be made by its own leadership without God’s direction and authorization. This thread has been initiated for the purpose of addressing this question, and a series of articles by John Waddey will continue to be posted.

Here’s introducing John Waddey, a native of Nashville, Tennessee and a lifelong member of the church of Christ, who has served churches of Christ in Mississippi, Colorado, Tennessee and Arizona. He has vast experiences in training young ministers and in Christian journalism. “He serves as minister of the West Bell Road Church of Christ in Surprise, AZ… He sees the internet as a wonderful tool, which God has provided for the spread of the gospel and is eager to share his knowledge with truth-seekers around the world.” For more information about the author and editor of the self-descriptive site, please link to:

Christianity: Then and Now

Please learn about what the author has to say regarding the “winds” blowing across the face of the brotherhood, and let us join the efforts against a “spiritual war” being waged against congregations before they are taken over and swept into apostasy.

Donnie Cruz
____________________________________________________________________

<font size=5>“TO CHANGE OR NOT TO CHANGE?” </font>
<font size=4>by John Waddey</font>
  • <font color=blue>Churches of Christ are standing at a critical crossroads. We face the same situation our forefathers faced in the half-century following the Civil War. Shall we continue in the old paths of New Testament Christianity that our predecessors in the faith traveled, or shall we change our direction? The road to the right is the road of ultra conservatism that inevitably leads to radicalism, faction and division. The road to the left is the road of liberalism. It leads away from the simplicity of the gospel to a denominational version of Christianity that stands without Christ's approval. It is the approach being promoted by those who are advocating “change” for our churches.

    A hundred years ago the majority of those who were part of the movement to restore original Christianity chose the same road the agents of change are now promoting. Today they are identified as the Disciples of Christ/Christian Churches. The issues that distinguished that movement last century and the movement for change of today are virtually identical. When the digression occurred in the past, the surviving remnant, led by great men such as David Lipscomb, James A. Harding, Austin McGary and J. D. Tant had to rebuild, almost from scratch. But God blessed their efforts and today well over two million souls are identified with the Churches of Christ around the world.

    Today winds are blowing gale-force across the face of our beloved brotherhood. They are urging us to abandon the old ways for new ways learned from our denominational neighbors. These winds, originating primarily from our large universities, are sure to drive the ship of Zion on the rocks of destruction, should they prevail.

    The purpose of this site [http://www.christianity-then-and-now.com/] is to address the changes being advocated; to examine them in light of Scripture. Each month we will post our journal, Christianity: Then and Now. We will review the books of the change agents as well as useful books that answer them. We will answer the questions our readers submit that relate to the problems before us. Additional materials will be posted on a regular basis. Should you find any of them useful, we encourage you to download them and distribute them, as you will.

    Please join us in prayer that God will bless this effort and use this teaching site to the honor and glory of his Son and for the good of his church. Pray that we will do only good and no harm at all. If we can help one preaching brother to clarify his thinking and avoid taking the road to the left; if we can assist one eldership in protecting their flock; if we can help to reclaim one soul who has been beguiled by false teachers; if we can light a candle to guide one or a hundred in the way of Truth, our efforts will be well repaid.

    Sincerely in Christ,

    John Waddey
    </font>
____________________________________________________________________

<font size=5> A TEAM EFFORT TO PROTECT THE CHURCH FROM HARM </font>
<font size=4>by John Waddey </font>
  • <font color=blue>A spiritual war is being waged against the brotherhood of churches of Christ. Across the nation battles are being fought as agents of change work to gain control of congregations, schools, and mission outposts. They are well placed, well-funded and well prepared for their conquest. They are fully aware of what they are doing and where they are going. They are highly motivated and confident of victory. Unfortunately the majority of those who are their intended victims are unaware of the danger facing them. Some realize there is a problem but seem not to perceive the extent of it and the imminent danger it poses. If we are to effectively block this takeover of congregations, which will result in their being swept into apostasy, those who love the Lord and his church must take action. We must act now and act decisively. We must recruit an army of volunteers and we must educate and inform our fellow-Christians.

    AN OPERATION IN WHICH YOU CAN HELP

    We need … Christians who have access to the Internet to join hands with us in an educational project … addressing some aspect of the change movement among our brethren. Some of the articles will remind us of the Biblical reasons why we believe and worship as we do. They will address those items being challenged by the promoters of change. Other articles will address the errors or fallacies of the false teachers. Some will review their books and speeches.

    … When you receive the article, read it and then forward it to ten or more members of the church on your mailing list with a note encouraging them to read it and forward it to Christians on their list. Such an effort has the potential to reach thousands of brethren … they will receive a brief lesson that will remind them of who we are, what we believe and why. They will be reminded of the dangers of the change movement … (Hopefully they can be elders, preachers, teachers, but any brother or sister in Christ). You are encouraged to send it to the congregations in your area who receive e-mail. Send it forth with a fervent prayer that God will bless your efforts and save his church from being swept away.

    Thank you for caring enough to get involved in the most important thing in the world.

    Yours for the church we love,
    </font>

    John Waddey, Editor
    Christianity: Then and Now

    E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
____________________________________________________________________
Bro. Paul Brownlow has written an attractive booklet by the above title, addressing twenty-five questions commonly raised by those who are inclined to allow instrumental music in Christian worship. Although not as strong in its response as some, it does address the contemporary arguments of those wanting to change the worship of the Lord's church. The booklet is well worth reading. It sells for $1.00 and may be ordered from Brownlow Pub. Co. 6309 Airport Freeway, Ft. Worth, TX 76117

To read past issues of CHRISTIANITY: THEN and NOW, please visit our website at: http://www.christianity-then-and-now.com

JHW
Last edited by ConcernedMembers on April 18th, 2003, 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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John Waddey
John Waddey

April 18th, 2003, 2:38 pm #8

This is one very important question that confronts each congregation of the church of Christ. The decision to change or not to change God’s will for the church must not be made by its own leadership without God’s direction and authorization. This thread has been initiated for the purpose of addressing this question, and a series of articles by John Waddey will continue to be posted.

Here’s introducing John Waddey, a native of Nashville, Tennessee and a lifelong member of the church of Christ, who has served churches of Christ in Mississippi, Colorado, Tennessee and Arizona. He has vast experiences in training young ministers and in Christian journalism. “He serves as minister of the West Bell Road Church of Christ in Surprise, AZ… He sees the internet as a wonderful tool, which God has provided for the spread of the gospel and is eager to share his knowledge with truth-seekers around the world.” For more information about the author and editor of the self-descriptive site, please link to:

Christianity: Then and Now

Please learn about what the author has to say regarding the “winds” blowing across the face of the brotherhood, and let us join the efforts against a “spiritual war” being waged against congregations before they are taken over and swept into apostasy.

Donnie Cruz
____________________________________________________________________

<font size=5>“TO CHANGE OR NOT TO CHANGE?” </font>
<font size=4>by John Waddey</font>
  • <font color=blue>Churches of Christ are standing at a critical crossroads. We face the same situation our forefathers faced in the half-century following the Civil War. Shall we continue in the old paths of New Testament Christianity that our predecessors in the faith traveled, or shall we change our direction? The road to the right is the road of ultra conservatism that inevitably leads to radicalism, faction and division. The road to the left is the road of liberalism. It leads away from the simplicity of the gospel to a denominational version of Christianity that stands without Christ's approval. It is the approach being promoted by those who are advocating “change” for our churches.

    A hundred years ago the majority of those who were part of the movement to restore original Christianity chose the same road the agents of change are now promoting. Today they are identified as the Disciples of Christ/Christian Churches. The issues that distinguished that movement last century and the movement for change of today are virtually identical. When the digression occurred in the past, the surviving remnant, led by great men such as David Lipscomb, James A. Harding, Austin McGary and J. D. Tant had to rebuild, almost from scratch. But God blessed their efforts and today well over two million souls are identified with the Churches of Christ around the world.

    Today winds are blowing gale-force across the face of our beloved brotherhood. They are urging us to abandon the old ways for new ways learned from our denominational neighbors. These winds, originating primarily from our large universities, are sure to drive the ship of Zion on the rocks of destruction, should they prevail.

    The purpose of this site [http://www.christianity-then-and-now.com/] is to address the changes being advocated; to examine them in light of Scripture. Each month we will post our journal, Christianity: Then and Now. We will review the books of the change agents as well as useful books that answer them. We will answer the questions our readers submit that relate to the problems before us. Additional materials will be posted on a regular basis. Should you find any of them useful, we encourage you to download them and distribute them, as you will.

    Please join us in prayer that God will bless this effort and use this teaching site to the honor and glory of his Son and for the good of his church. Pray that we will do only good and no harm at all. If we can help one preaching brother to clarify his thinking and avoid taking the road to the left; if we can assist one eldership in protecting their flock; if we can help to reclaim one soul who has been beguiled by false teachers; if we can light a candle to guide one or a hundred in the way of Truth, our efforts will be well repaid.

    Sincerely in Christ,

    John Waddey
    </font>
____________________________________________________________________

<font size=5> A TEAM EFFORT TO PROTECT THE CHURCH FROM HARM </font>
<font size=4>by John Waddey </font>
  • <font color=blue>A spiritual war is being waged against the brotherhood of churches of Christ. Across the nation battles are being fought as agents of change work to gain control of congregations, schools, and mission outposts. They are well placed, well-funded and well prepared for their conquest. They are fully aware of what they are doing and where they are going. They are highly motivated and confident of victory. Unfortunately the majority of those who are their intended victims are unaware of the danger facing them. Some realize there is a problem but seem not to perceive the extent of it and the imminent danger it poses. If we are to effectively block this takeover of congregations, which will result in their being swept into apostasy, those who love the Lord and his church must take action. We must act now and act decisively. We must recruit an army of volunteers and we must educate and inform our fellow-Christians.

    AN OPERATION IN WHICH YOU CAN HELP

    We need … Christians who have access to the Internet to join hands with us in an educational project … addressing some aspect of the change movement among our brethren. Some of the articles will remind us of the Biblical reasons why we believe and worship as we do. They will address those items being challenged by the promoters of change. Other articles will address the errors or fallacies of the false teachers. Some will review their books and speeches.

    … When you receive the article, read it and then forward it to ten or more members of the church on your mailing list with a note encouraging them to read it and forward it to Christians on their list. Such an effort has the potential to reach thousands of brethren … they will receive a brief lesson that will remind them of who we are, what we believe and why. They will be reminded of the dangers of the change movement … (Hopefully they can be elders, preachers, teachers, but any brother or sister in Christ). You are encouraged to send it to the congregations in your area who receive e-mail. Send it forth with a fervent prayer that God will bless your efforts and save his church from being swept away.

    Thank you for caring enough to get involved in the most important thing in the world.

    Yours for the church we love,
    </font>

    John Waddey, Editor
    Christianity: Then and Now

    E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
____________________________________________________________________
Trusting Women (The Way of Women in Churches of Christ) is a recent publication issued by New Leaf Books of Orange, Calif. New Leaf is a perennial spring of materials promoting the agenda of the change movement. Billie Silvey is the editor of this book of essays by women affiliated with the Lord’s church. Harold Shank of the Highland Church of Christ in Memphis expresses the view of change agents concerning the message of this book. “These writers say things about Churches of Christ that nobody else is saying, things that nobody else can say.” He feels it “contains things that should have been said long ago.”

This reviewer and others of a conservative bent, would describe it as a “coming out statement” of women who have rejected God’s Word and the limitations it sets on their filling roles of congregational leadership and public teaching in His church. Preferring the teaching of feminism to that of the Holy Spirit, they express their frustration with preachers, elders and congregations that would not allow them to use their talents in the leadership and public worship of the church.

This book is noteworthy in that is a declaration of the first women preachers to surface among our churches in over a hundred years. True, women preachers emerged among the digressive churches that separated from us at the end of the 19th century, but they had no place among our brethren until recently.

* There is Katie Hays, one time ministeress of the Cahaba Valley Church of Christ in Birmingham, AL, now preaching for the West Islip Church of Christ in Long Island, NY.

* There is D’Esta Love, chaplain of Pepperdine University and member of the Malibu Church of Christ whose elders “made a statement to the church that made it possible for women to read from the Scriptures, to serve communion to the congregation, and to participate in periods of prayer in our worship” (p. 128). She feels that her “own religious tradition” (i.e., Churches of Christ) had let her down. She reminiscences about thinking she would never have the opportunity to use her gifts of “ministry” in the church. It seems to me she could easily have walked away from a church so tightly bound and limited by Scripture and gone to the Disciples of Christ, the Methodists, Presbyterians or Pentecostals and instantly gone on payroll (p. 129). She tell us how folks like her get around such embarrassing passages as I Cor. 14:43-34 and I Tim. 2:8-14. “We are finding tools for the analysis of scripture which allow us to view the role of women in the larger context of the biblical witness, rather than allow two heavily disputed passages to relegate women to a silent role” (p. 130). She believes that God “called (her) to Pepperdine University and has opened doors of opportunity for service that could not have been possible elsewhere” (p. 131). In this she is probably right, except of course she could have gone to Abilene Christian University and done as well.

* There is Amy Henegar, hospital chaplain, who preaches Sunday sermons at the hospital chapel.

* There is Karen Logan who found her inspiration from “a statement of faith by ‘Christians for Biblical Equality’” published in the denominational journal, Christianity Today.

* Joyce Hardin argues that women can do anything except be elders, preachers or Bible teachers of Christian men” (p. 57). For this concession we do give her credit. But she informs us that she does “not...understand why those restrictions are placed on women” (p. 57).

* Pat Boultinghouse tells us how she found her freedom from the old religious restrictions while working for Howard Publishing Co. of West Monroe, La. With the help and encouragement of Alton and John Howard, she and her husband launched Image magazine, precursor of Wineskins. She tells of working with influential leaders of the change movement such as Joe Beam, Rubel Shelly, Lynn Anderson, Jeff Walling, Mike Cope, Terry Rush and Marvin Phillips (p. 135). She asks, “Do we lift up our Lord and draw others to him when we rigidly hold to human traditions and a fifties culture” (p.141). I remind her and others of like-mind that the limitations on women in the leadership and worship of the church originated with the apostles in the first century, not the 1950s.

* Sherrylee Woodward acknowledges that, “During those tender devotions of the late sixties youth rallies, my crowd first began to wonder about applying the pattern for church worship, order and leadership when the church was not “in church.” (p. 191). It is fair to assume that much of the change agenda had it origin in the period of the sixties and in the environment of youth meetings. Young people who were poorly taught and led then are now the forty-something adults who are emerging as leaders of our churches. Nurtured on entertainment and emotionalism they know not what we believe nor why we worship as we do. Nor do they care much for what the Scriptures says.

* Lucille Todd and her friend, “felt the Holy Spirit moving (them)” (p. 209).

* Karen Logan tells us she was “blessed to be at a progressive church” where she enjoyed the worship of hand-raising and singing” (p. 228). She wonders, “Where is the verse that says a woman cannot lead a prayer?” (p. 22). We could ask, “Where is the verse that says we cannot sprinkle babies for baptism?” Of course this is the wrong question. The question is where is the verse that says women can lead in public worship? She believes that “God was preparing (her) to teach gender equality using this ministry of drama” (p. 232).

In reading this volume, one is impressed that virtually all of these liberated women who aspire to public leadership in the Lord’s church got their education and or inspiration from universities operated by members of the Churches of Christ. The most notable influence coming from Abilene Christian University and Pepperdine University. This is important information for those who care for the church and want to see this apostasy contained. Whenever there is an outbreak of food poisoning, public health workers look for the source. When blatant heresy breaks out in the church we too must look for the source. This book provides the answer. All who read Trusting Women will agree with Harold Shank who, in his commendation of this book, rightly said, “This is not an academic volume or a book on Bible study.” It is rather a declaration of women who no longer accept the Bible as their spiritual standard.

JHW (e-mail: johnwaddey@aol.com)
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Share

John Waddey
John Waddey

April 25th, 2003, 4:18 pm #9

This is one very important question that confronts each congregation of the church of Christ. The decision to change or not to change God’s will for the church must not be made by its own leadership without God’s direction and authorization. This thread has been initiated for the purpose of addressing this question, and a series of articles by John Waddey will continue to be posted.

Here’s introducing John Waddey, a native of Nashville, Tennessee and a lifelong member of the church of Christ, who has served churches of Christ in Mississippi, Colorado, Tennessee and Arizona. He has vast experiences in training young ministers and in Christian journalism. “He serves as minister of the West Bell Road Church of Christ in Surprise, AZ… He sees the internet as a wonderful tool, which God has provided for the spread of the gospel and is eager to share his knowledge with truth-seekers around the world.” For more information about the author and editor of the self-descriptive site, please link to:

Christianity: Then and Now

Please learn about what the author has to say regarding the “winds” blowing across the face of the brotherhood, and let us join the efforts against a “spiritual war” being waged against congregations before they are taken over and swept into apostasy.

Donnie Cruz
____________________________________________________________________

<font size=5>“TO CHANGE OR NOT TO CHANGE?” </font>
<font size=4>by John Waddey</font>
  • <font color=blue>Churches of Christ are standing at a critical crossroads. We face the same situation our forefathers faced in the half-century following the Civil War. Shall we continue in the old paths of New Testament Christianity that our predecessors in the faith traveled, or shall we change our direction? The road to the right is the road of ultra conservatism that inevitably leads to radicalism, faction and division. The road to the left is the road of liberalism. It leads away from the simplicity of the gospel to a denominational version of Christianity that stands without Christ's approval. It is the approach being promoted by those who are advocating “change” for our churches.

    A hundred years ago the majority of those who were part of the movement to restore original Christianity chose the same road the agents of change are now promoting. Today they are identified as the Disciples of Christ/Christian Churches. The issues that distinguished that movement last century and the movement for change of today are virtually identical. When the digression occurred in the past, the surviving remnant, led by great men such as David Lipscomb, James A. Harding, Austin McGary and J. D. Tant had to rebuild, almost from scratch. But God blessed their efforts and today well over two million souls are identified with the Churches of Christ around the world.

    Today winds are blowing gale-force across the face of our beloved brotherhood. They are urging us to abandon the old ways for new ways learned from our denominational neighbors. These winds, originating primarily from our large universities, are sure to drive the ship of Zion on the rocks of destruction, should they prevail.

    The purpose of this site [http://www.christianity-then-and-now.com/] is to address the changes being advocated; to examine them in light of Scripture. Each month we will post our journal, Christianity: Then and Now. We will review the books of the change agents as well as useful books that answer them. We will answer the questions our readers submit that relate to the problems before us. Additional materials will be posted on a regular basis. Should you find any of them useful, we encourage you to download them and distribute them, as you will.

    Please join us in prayer that God will bless this effort and use this teaching site to the honor and glory of his Son and for the good of his church. Pray that we will do only good and no harm at all. If we can help one preaching brother to clarify his thinking and avoid taking the road to the left; if we can assist one eldership in protecting their flock; if we can help to reclaim one soul who has been beguiled by false teachers; if we can light a candle to guide one or a hundred in the way of Truth, our efforts will be well repaid.

    Sincerely in Christ,

    John Waddey
    </font>
____________________________________________________________________

<font size=5> A TEAM EFFORT TO PROTECT THE CHURCH FROM HARM </font>
<font size=4>by John Waddey </font>
  • <font color=blue>A spiritual war is being waged against the brotherhood of churches of Christ. Across the nation battles are being fought as agents of change work to gain control of congregations, schools, and mission outposts. They are well placed, well-funded and well prepared for their conquest. They are fully aware of what they are doing and where they are going. They are highly motivated and confident of victory. Unfortunately the majority of those who are their intended victims are unaware of the danger facing them. Some realize there is a problem but seem not to perceive the extent of it and the imminent danger it poses. If we are to effectively block this takeover of congregations, which will result in their being swept into apostasy, those who love the Lord and his church must take action. We must act now and act decisively. We must recruit an army of volunteers and we must educate and inform our fellow-Christians.

    AN OPERATION IN WHICH YOU CAN HELP

    We need … Christians who have access to the Internet to join hands with us in an educational project … addressing some aspect of the change movement among our brethren. Some of the articles will remind us of the Biblical reasons why we believe and worship as we do. They will address those items being challenged by the promoters of change. Other articles will address the errors or fallacies of the false teachers. Some will review their books and speeches.

    … When you receive the article, read it and then forward it to ten or more members of the church on your mailing list with a note encouraging them to read it and forward it to Christians on their list. Such an effort has the potential to reach thousands of brethren … they will receive a brief lesson that will remind them of who we are, what we believe and why. They will be reminded of the dangers of the change movement … (Hopefully they can be elders, preachers, teachers, but any brother or sister in Christ). You are encouraged to send it to the congregations in your area who receive e-mail. Send it forth with a fervent prayer that God will bless your efforts and save his church from being swept away.

    Thank you for caring enough to get involved in the most important thing in the world.

    Yours for the church we love,
    </font>

    John Waddey, Editor
    Christianity: Then and Now

    E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
____________________________________________________________________
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Source: http://www.christianity-then-and-now.com (Volume 2, Number 5)
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TRADITIONS

A tradition is a belief or practice handed down from generation to generation. All institutions and organizations have their traditional ways of doing things. Traditions can be beneficial, detrimental or inconsequential, depending on how they impact on an institution. Churches are no exception.

There are holy traditions passed down to us from Christ through his apostles. We are commanded to "stand fast, and hold the traditions which (ye) were taught, whether by word, or by epistles of ours" (II Thess. 2:15). Holy traditions were given by Christ and must be observed as his divine will (Heb. 5:9). Our faith, worship and practice must be based on these divine traditions. To be a holy tradition, worthy of our observance, it must be as old as the New Testament and found therein. Among those holy traditions are baptism for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38); baptism as the entrance into the church (I Cor. 12:13); communion with both bread and fruit of the vine (Matt. 26:26-29). For disciples to wear the name Christian is a holy tradition (I Pet 4:16).

There are traditions of men. Jesus told the leaders of the Jews, "ye have made void the word of God because of your tradition...in vain do they worship me teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men" (Matt. 15:6-9). Any religious teaching or practice originating this side of Christ and the apostles is a tradition of men, as is any teaching that is contrary to the New Testament.

--- Infant baptism: "by a tradition at least as old as the 3rd century...children born to Christian parents have been baptized in infancy (Oxford Dict. of Christ. Church, p. 689).

--- Sprinkling for baptism: "In the primitive church, baptism was by immersion...the council of Ravenna (1311) was the first to allow a choice between sprinkling and immersion" (Ency. of Rel. Knowledge, Vol. 1, p. 201).

--- Frequency of Communion: "from such passages as Acts 20:7, and various 2nd century writers it seems that the members of local churches all communed at the Sunday Eucharist. But in latter times...communion became very infrequent" (Ox. Dict. Of Christ. Ch. P. 319).

--- Instrumental music in worship: "the general introduction of instrumental music can certainly not be assigned to a date earlier than the 5th and 6th century" (M'Clintock & Strong's Ency. Vol 6, 759).

To prefer these human traditions over the teachings of God's word makes our worship vain (Matt. 15:6). To be pleasing to God, we must be unyielding in our commitment to honor and observe the sacred traditions of Christ and eschew all traditions of men.

JHW


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John Waddey
John Waddey

April 28th, 2003, 3:08 pm #10

This is one very important question that confronts each congregation of the church of Christ. The decision to change or not to change God’s will for the church must not be made by its own leadership without God’s direction and authorization. This thread has been initiated for the purpose of addressing this question, and a series of articles by John Waddey will continue to be posted.

Here’s introducing John Waddey, a native of Nashville, Tennessee and a lifelong member of the church of Christ, who has served churches of Christ in Mississippi, Colorado, Tennessee and Arizona. He has vast experiences in training young ministers and in Christian journalism. “He serves as minister of the West Bell Road Church of Christ in Surprise, AZ… He sees the internet as a wonderful tool, which God has provided for the spread of the gospel and is eager to share his knowledge with truth-seekers around the world.” For more information about the author and editor of the self-descriptive site, please link to:

Christianity: Then and Now

Please learn about what the author has to say regarding the “winds” blowing across the face of the brotherhood, and let us join the efforts against a “spiritual war” being waged against congregations before they are taken over and swept into apostasy.

Donnie Cruz
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<font size=5>“TO CHANGE OR NOT TO CHANGE?” </font>
<font size=4>by John Waddey</font>
  • <font color=blue>Churches of Christ are standing at a critical crossroads. We face the same situation our forefathers faced in the half-century following the Civil War. Shall we continue in the old paths of New Testament Christianity that our predecessors in the faith traveled, or shall we change our direction? The road to the right is the road of ultra conservatism that inevitably leads to radicalism, faction and division. The road to the left is the road of liberalism. It leads away from the simplicity of the gospel to a denominational version of Christianity that stands without Christ's approval. It is the approach being promoted by those who are advocating “change” for our churches.

    A hundred years ago the majority of those who were part of the movement to restore original Christianity chose the same road the agents of change are now promoting. Today they are identified as the Disciples of Christ/Christian Churches. The issues that distinguished that movement last century and the movement for change of today are virtually identical. When the digression occurred in the past, the surviving remnant, led by great men such as David Lipscomb, James A. Harding, Austin McGary and J. D. Tant had to rebuild, almost from scratch. But God blessed their efforts and today well over two million souls are identified with the Churches of Christ around the world.

    Today winds are blowing gale-force across the face of our beloved brotherhood. They are urging us to abandon the old ways for new ways learned from our denominational neighbors. These winds, originating primarily from our large universities, are sure to drive the ship of Zion on the rocks of destruction, should they prevail.

    The purpose of this site [http://www.christianity-then-and-now.com/] is to address the changes being advocated; to examine them in light of Scripture. Each month we will post our journal, Christianity: Then and Now. We will review the books of the change agents as well as useful books that answer them. We will answer the questions our readers submit that relate to the problems before us. Additional materials will be posted on a regular basis. Should you find any of them useful, we encourage you to download them and distribute them, as you will.

    Please join us in prayer that God will bless this effort and use this teaching site to the honor and glory of his Son and for the good of his church. Pray that we will do only good and no harm at all. If we can help one preaching brother to clarify his thinking and avoid taking the road to the left; if we can assist one eldership in protecting their flock; if we can help to reclaim one soul who has been beguiled by false teachers; if we can light a candle to guide one or a hundred in the way of Truth, our efforts will be well repaid.

    Sincerely in Christ,

    John Waddey
    </font>
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<font size=5> A TEAM EFFORT TO PROTECT THE CHURCH FROM HARM </font>
<font size=4>by John Waddey </font>
  • <font color=blue>A spiritual war is being waged against the brotherhood of churches of Christ. Across the nation battles are being fought as agents of change work to gain control of congregations, schools, and mission outposts. They are well placed, well-funded and well prepared for their conquest. They are fully aware of what they are doing and where they are going. They are highly motivated and confident of victory. Unfortunately the majority of those who are their intended victims are unaware of the danger facing them. Some realize there is a problem but seem not to perceive the extent of it and the imminent danger it poses. If we are to effectively block this takeover of congregations, which will result in their being swept into apostasy, those who love the Lord and his church must take action. We must act now and act decisively. We must recruit an army of volunteers and we must educate and inform our fellow-Christians.

    AN OPERATION IN WHICH YOU CAN HELP

    We need … Christians who have access to the Internet to join hands with us in an educational project … addressing some aspect of the change movement among our brethren. Some of the articles will remind us of the Biblical reasons why we believe and worship as we do. They will address those items being challenged by the promoters of change. Other articles will address the errors or fallacies of the false teachers. Some will review their books and speeches.

    … When you receive the article, read it and then forward it to ten or more members of the church on your mailing list with a note encouraging them to read it and forward it to Christians on their list. Such an effort has the potential to reach thousands of brethren … they will receive a brief lesson that will remind them of who we are, what we believe and why. They will be reminded of the dangers of the change movement … (Hopefully they can be elders, preachers, teachers, but any brother or sister in Christ). You are encouraged to send it to the congregations in your area who receive e-mail. Send it forth with a fervent prayer that God will bless your efforts and save his church from being swept away.

    Thank you for caring enough to get involved in the most important thing in the world.

    Yours for the church we love,
    </font>

    John Waddey, Editor
    Christianity: Then and Now

    E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
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MORE OBSERVATIONS ON TRADITIONS

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Source: http://www.christianity-then-and-now.com (Volume 2, Number 5)
E-mail: JOHNWADDEY@aol.com
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All churches have traditions. Some traditions are divine in origin and must be honored (II Thess. 3:6). Other traditions originated with men and hinder folks from obeying God's will. Such must be rejected (Matt. 15:6). Still other traditions are harmless. They are established ways of doing things that give continuity and order to our services. With such traditions we know what to expect when we come together to worship.

--- We have a tradition of an one hour worship service. The Bible nowhere tells us how long to spend in our assemblies. In other countries I have visited, their tradition called for two or more hours in worship. Either is acceptable. Each congregation must decide such matters for itself.

--- Our tradition calls for half hour sermons. Again God does not prescribe a time frame for a sermon. Such traditions help us plan the use of our time in worship and afterward. Such a tradition is of human origin, but it is not forbidden. We could not however bind it on others.

--- Our tradition expects a preacher to wear a coat and tie when he stands up to preach. In Bible times they wore no ties or modern style coats. In third world countries, they have different dress styles and a preacher might be perfectly in order to wear casual clothes. We should dress appropriately for the occasion and so as not to cause anyone to take offense at our dress. We must not insist that brethren in all other lands must observe our tradition.

--- Our tradition is that we wear shoes to church. Most of us would frown on the adult who came barefoot. In many Asian churches, folks are expected to leave their shoes at the door. To wear them in worship would be considered disrespectful. Neither is bound by God. We are free to observe our tradition in the matter.

--- Our meeting houses are built according to our traditions. We expect them to be suitable for the community in which we live. We heat and air-condition them. We carpet the floors and cover the pews. Christians in other parts of the world have meeting places that conform to their traditions. Many have no heating or cooling. In some places it is not needed, in others they view such as wasteful use of God's money. Where roads are unpaved, carpeted floors are not suitable. Since God does not address the type of buildings we should have, each congregation is free to make its own choices in the matter. Our choices cannot be bound on others.

Traditions we have. May God help us discern which of them are good, bad and harmless. Let us always be ready to obey those from God; reject those that hinder our obedience to Him and be flexible in those that are harmless and useful our work and worship.

JHW
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