James O. Baird
James O. Baird

August 16th, 2004, 6:28 am #21

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]
____________________________________________________________________


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capacity of a thread. Thanks.

Archives 1
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[Emphases mine, dc]
__________________________

<font size=5>Nudging the Church to Self-destruction </font>
<font size=4>By James O. Baird</font>



In my judgment, the basis of much tension in the church comes from two waves of thought which have washed over America. The one, more biblical and Christian, crashes headlong against the ideas of the Enlightenment, emerging principally from Europe's encounter with the Renaissance. These ideas were powerfully anti-Christian exalting the supremacy of human reason and explaining all phenomena by natural law. Their influence has been staggering. They are the source of today's secular culture, helping to put into place questions which are more philosophical than biblical and which challenge our Christian approach to the nature of life and its purpose. These questions which emerge from speculative thought, and which need to be answered, include the following:
<ol>[*]Is there reality? If so, how can we know it?

[*]Is there a Supreme Being who can act outside of nature?

[*]Can words accurately convey meaning?

[*]Is culture foreordained to be supreme or can it be effectively countered?

[*]Can a verbally inspired Word be accepted as authoritative and complete?
[/list]Addressing these questions:
<ol>[*]Our senses of sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell confirm there is reality. When our experiences are confirmed by these senses reality is accepted. This is the basis of modern science. Touching fire does speak truthfully to man.

[*]The complexity, immensity, and dependability of the universe demand an explanation. Such a universe mandates a God of tremendous power. If God has such power, he is able to reach beyond his established law and miracles become a possibility.

[*]Much theory of speech teach that words only reflect our experience and cannot convey meaning accurately. In spite of such theory, most of the understandable communication between humans requires words, and on this basis our world functions financially, academically, and personally. While God communicates his power and grandeur through the physical universe, his inspired words are necessary to convey his will to mankind.

[*]The New Testament consistently draws a line between the world and the church. The church is presented as God's countering agent to the world's culture. It is God's leaven, his element of change. Through the church the antiChristian world can see the alternative of being molded by his Word.

[*]If we limit God's ability to provide an inspired, authoritative and complete Word, we turn away from the selfclaims of the Bible and the way Jesus, the apostles, and prophets used it.

Conceding unclear answers to these five questions is to concede the present array of criticisms about the church is true. This litany is familiar and includes the following:

<ol>[*]"Prooftexting is unacceptable."

[*]"The culture is forcing the church of Christ into existing as another denomination."

[*]"Believing verbal inspiration is presumptuous. "

[*]"Opposing women as preachers and instruments of music in worship are hopelessly out of step with the times."

[*]"Command, example, and inference are unacceptable principles for explaining Scripture. The church of Christ is based on a poor hermeneutic."

[*]"The church severely lacks highlevel scholarship. This lack explains many of its failures."

[*]"The New Testament does not provide a pattern and example for the church in any time and place."

[*]"Grace alone, not commandments, should receive our approval. Demanding obedience distorts the gospel." [/list]
[/list]To those critics calling for the abandonment of the New Testament church, please provide your proposals for a better alternative. This I have not heard.
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John Waddey
John Waddey

September 12th, 2004, 6:48 am #22

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]
____________________________________________________________________


NOTE: Prior posts to this thread have been archived here. This is done to keep
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<font size=4>PRESUPPOSITIONS OF THOSE COMMITTED TO CHANGE</font>

Theologians of the change movement like to emphasize that everyone comes to the Word of God with presuppositions which color their understanding and conclusions. They should know this for it is evident that promoters of the change agenda have a lengthy set of presuppositions. In reading some 30 books promoting their system, I discovered the following presuppositions to be commonly held:
  • That truth is relative and flexible, meaning one thing to one person, something else to another.
  • That the Bible is not an authoritative standard to which we must conform.
  • That the Old Testament stands equal to the New Testament in determining how Christians and the church should function.
  • That logic and reason play a very small role in understanding God’s will. Emotions, subjectivism and the will of the majority are more determinative.
  • That no one body of people is exclusively Christ’s church on earth; rather, all are denominational parts of the whole.
  • That churches of Christ are an illegitimate faction that split away from the Disciples of Christ without Scriptural justification.
  • That the brotherhood of churches of Christ are a failed group whose beliefs and practices are defective and in serious need of change.
  • That no denomination, doctrine or practice nor religious teacher should be judged as wrong and criticized except the traditional, conservative churches of Christ and their spokesmen.
  • That the views of denominational scholars, especially those of more skeptical ranks, should always be preferred over those of scholars of the church of Christ.
  • That they (the change brotherhood) have found a superior way to worship and serve God and a higher level of piety than those of traditional churches of Christ.
  • That they (promoters of change), because of the superiority of their views, are fully justified in usurping control of existing congregations and claiming church properties built and paid for by others.
Since it is the case that one’s conclusions and actions are definitely colored by the presuppositions he holds, we can now better understand the behavior of the promoters of change.

____________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

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

September 13th, 2004, 3:18 pm #23

Having also read a few books I was wondering if you could provide some references for these "commonly held" presuppositions. My presupposition-- most of those with whom I am acquainted that are accused of being "change agents" would reject every single presupposition listed in the post entitled "presuppositions of change agents."

Please help your readers out by providing references that demonstrate the "commonality" of the presuppositions listed. Thank you.
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

September 14th, 2004, 7:28 am #24

Joe,

Brother John Waddey has reviewed numerous books promoting change. Some 20 of these reviews have been posted here. So, as you have requested, I would like to direct our readers to a thread titled, “KEEPING ABREAST: REVIEWS OF BOOKS AND MATERIALS RELATING TO THE CHANGE MOVEMENT.”

I hope you realize that the article above is an attempt to highlight what has been gleaned by the author from various sources or materials—and not to discuss each in detail … or it wouldn’t be a summation of presuppositions any longer. Here’s a list of the resources that pertain to the mission of the prominent “change agents” operating in the brotherhood. Actually, these are the titles and notes of John’s reviews, but many of these are the actual names of the books on the Change Movement:
<ol>[*]The Second Incarnation by Rubel Shelly and Randy Harris
[*]The Transforming of a Tradition, edited by Leonard Allen and Lynn Anderson
[*]Radical Restoration by F. LaGard Smith
[*]The Crux of the Matter by Jeff Childers, Douglas Foster and Jack Reese
[*]God’s Holy Fire: A Book Based On Faulty Assumptions
[*]Renewing God’s People (A Review)
[*]A Church That Flies
[*]Voices of Concern
[*]Come To The Table
[*]In The Grip Of God’s Grace
[*]The Churches Of Christ
[*]Rick Atchley’s Speech At The Restoration Forum
[*]Reclaiming A Heritage
[*]Trusting Women
[*]The Church in Transition
[*]The Cruciform Church
[*]Christ – No More, No Less
[*]Discovering Our Roots (A Review)
[*]Pilgrimage Of Joy, An Autobiography Of Carl Ketcherside
[*]The Purpose Driven Life
[*]The Royal Law Of Liberty (A Review)
[*]Down In The River To Pray (A Review)
[*]Participating In God's Life (A Review)
[*]Essays On Women In Earliest Christianity
[*]Women In The Church (A Review)
[*]The Jesus Proposal (A Review)
[*]Redeeming The Times (A Review)
[*]As Long As We Have The Pattern
[*]Distant Voices (A Review)
[*]At The River's Edge (A Review)
[*]Among The Scholars (A Review)
[/list]Here’s a List of John Waddey’s “Need to Read” Resource Materials:
<ol>[*]Change Agents and Churches of Christ by William Woodson
[*]Tracts To Fortify Faith
[*]Books Every Church Leader Should Read
[*]The Spirit of Liberalism
[*]What Happened At The Madison Church of Christ
[*]A Commentary On What The Bible Does Not Say
[*]Gospel Papers that Will Strengthen Your Faith
[*]Liberalism Deadly Enemy of The Church
[*]Directions For The Road Ahead
[*]Adrift
[*]Piloting The Straight
[*]Worship: Life's Greatest Moments (A Book You Should Read)
[*]Getting To Know The Bible
[*]Instrumental Music and The New Testament Worship
[*]The Church In Transition To What?
[/list]Hope this helps,

Donnie
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John Waddey
John Waddey

October 27th, 2004, 6:36 am #25

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]
____________________________________________________________________


NOTE: Prior posts to this thread have been archived here. This is done to keep
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<font size=4>TRAGEDY OF TRAGEDIES</font>
Prior to the Communist Revolution the gospel was being preached throughout Russia and many embraced the back to the Bible plea. When they came to power, the Communists proceeded to crush every vestige of Christianity that refused to become collaborators with their evil system. Many years ago Bro. Epi Bilak, himself a Ukrainian Christian, related the words of a brother who was languishing in a Communist prison. The prisoner for Christ wrote, “Sad, sad to die in chains; but worse; far worse, to sleep, sleep, sleep.”

Those prophetic words are today most applicable for thousands of preachers, elders and members of the church of Christ here in America. If these were the early days of Christianity, when the cruel hand of Judaism and the iron fist of Rome made war on the servants of Jesus, many of us no doubt would be rotting in dungeons and multitudes would have perished. Others would have been driven from their homes, forced to flee or be exterminated. We would be hated and hunted like evil felons because we followed Jesus. You can read about the sufferings of those brethren in Foxe’s Book of Christian Martyrs. If these were the early days of the Protestant revolt against Rome, the same would be our fate. It was truly sad that so many innocent saints suffered and died in chains for their faith in the Prince of Peace.

But ours is the land of religious liberty. Freedom of speech and assembly is guaranteed to us and the strong arm of our government will protect us in exercising these rights. We are free to evangelize and proselyte others to the Cause we love. Ours is a day of prosperity, easy travel and instant communication. We have access to radio, television, the Internet and the print media. We have a large and prosperous base of congregations here in America. We have schools, an endless array of gospel literature, hymnals and other assets to use for the advancement of the kingdom of Christ.

Yet with all the above mentioned advantages, the average Christian, preacher and elder sleeps. Satan is working 24/7. While brethren sleep he is corrupting the faith of their flocks. He is sowing seeds of discord. He is priming the explosion that will rip the brotherhood of churches of Christ in to shreds. And still those whose responsibility it is to watch for the flock sleep (Acts 20:31). It is truly amazing and appalling how many leaders have no awareness of what is transpiring within the body of Christ, and no interest in learning about the situation, no intention of helping. Some are actually offended when the problem is brought to their attention. They labor under the false illusion that the church here in America is invincible, that God won’t allow anything bad to happen to her. They forget that just a century ago a similar change movement swept away a full 85 percent of our people and congregations, virtually every school and mission outpost. It not only can happen, it will happen again if those whose job is to be watchmen sleep, sleep, sleep (Is. 56:10).

What a terrible tragedy it will be when what was once the largest indigenous religious body on this continent is again torn by division; they who just 50 years ago were the fastest growing church in America are reduced to a scattered remnant. Think of the souls that will be swept away in error, the discouraged brethren who will lose their hope and turn back to sin, the sinners who will not have a preacher or missionary to teach them the saving gospel. If such were to happen because we were persecuted and our leaders cast into prison, it would be sad. But how much worse it will be because we slept, slept, slept! Are you dear reader asleep to the danger we face? “Awake, thou that sleepest and arise from the dead and Christ will shine upon thee” (Eph. 5:14).

____________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

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

February 22nd, 2005, 7:50 am #26

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]
____________________________________________________________________


NOTE: Prior posts to this thread have been archived here. This is done to keep
the loading time down and other messages from being truncated due to
certain security and anti-virus protection measures—which limit the content
capacity of a thread. Thanks.

Archives 1
http://www.network54.com/Forum/thread?f ... 1048528399
<font size=4> CHANGES: TWO KINDS, TWO CONSEQUENCES</font>

<font size=3 color=indigo face=Times New Roman>Life is full of changes. Our world is changing. Churches also change. Change is not a new phenomenon. Every generation from the beginning has had to deal with changes and make changes. It is important to understand that there are two distinctly different kinds of changes churches can make: changes that are beneficial and helpful to the spiritual health and prosperity of the Cause of Christ and changes that are harmful and destructive.

I. Identifiable Characteristics of Helpful Changes:
  • Those who propose them respect the authority of God's word to regulate the faith, worship and practices of the church (Matt. 7:21).
  • The changes proposed will always be within the boundaries set by Christ the founder and head of the church (Eph.1:22).
  • The changes are not frivolous or made for theatrical purposes.
  • The motive for the change made is not to be like the world and those religious bodies who exist and operate without heaven's approval.
  • The changes will help the church and her members do a better job of serving Christ and building up his kingdom.
  • They will draw disciples closer to Christ and promote godliness (I Cor. 14:26).
  • They will not be divisive and destructive in the life of the congregation, but will promote harmony among brethren.
  • They will not be made to pacify a restless, worldly element in the church.
II. Characteristics of the Harmful Changes:
  • They are promoted without respect or regard for Biblical standards (Matt. 28:20).
  • They are often responses to the clamor of young, immature, or worldly members of the church who do not have a good knowledge of the way of truth.
  • They are often implemented even though many devout souls are offended by them.
  • They are kept even when they foment strife and division among the brethren.
  • They are attempted because some successful denominational preacher or church has utilized them.
  • They are sought in order to make the church more like her denominational neighbors and thus less likely to be scorned by the world (I Sam. 8:4-5).
  • They affect the essential nature and identity of the church of Christ.
  • They are often trivial and theatrical in nature.
  • Rather than edify, they entertain or pacify restless untaught brethren.
  • While they do entertain, they do not actually promote righteousness, godliness and devotion.
  • They are implemented for the express purpose of trying to distant the church from those brethren who are determined to abide by the principles sets forth in Scripture.
  • They cheapen and devalue the worship of God and the church of the Lord.
  • Because they are unscriptural innovations, they cause strife and division in the church.
It is clear to those who love the church that the choices and changes available to us are only those of the first category. Experience demonstrates that we can flourish and prosper in this wicked world and abide by the principles of the first group, while we flounder and suffer great loss when we follow the latter. Remember the words of the Lord, "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life."</font>

____________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

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

February 23rd, 2005, 12:05 am #27

Great points to consider. The church will flourish most through times of persecution. Bring it on!

blessings
chuck
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John Waddey
John Waddey

February 27th, 2005, 9:09 am #28

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]
____________________________________________________________________


NOTE: Prior posts to this thread have been archived here. This is done to keep
the loading time down and other messages from being truncated due to
certain security and anti-virus protection measures—which limit the content
capacity of a thread. Thanks.

Archives 1
http://www.network54.com/Forum/thread?f ... 1048528399
<font size=4> “DOING CHURCH IN A CHANGING SOCIETY” </font>

<font size=3 color=indigo face=Times New Roman>Change agents love to speak of their method of “doing church.” Recently my neighbor, “The Reverend Ms. Linda ____ ” gave me a copy of the activities bulletin for her United Methodist Church. These folks are in the vanguard of the change movement in the Postmodern Protestant world. Long ago, her brethren grew tired and weary of the old fashioned, narrow biblicism of John Wesley, their founder. They embarked on the new road of “Liberal Christianity.” Pastor Linda’s bulletin is a fair barometer of what we can expect of our preachers and churches who have likewise rejected the old biblicism of their spiritual fathers and are pursuing an agenda of change that will meet the felt-needs of their consumer/members in our Postmodern world.

<ol>[*]The Rev.’s church has a “Fine Arts Series” once each month, featuring the Desert Brass, an Organ Recital, and the Bronze Bell choir.
[*]Her Missions Class will be studying “Erma Bombeck, Elizabeth Taylor and Jolly Old England.”
[*]A Creativity Class will be offered in how to write “Your Own Story.”
[*]The Leisure Activities Groups will feature “Armchair Travelers, Bowling, Bridge, Scrabble and Survivor’s Fun Night.”
[*]Of course, there will be a Super Bowl Party.
[*]The Sabbath (Saturday) Service will feature “Recording Artist, Mary Hollan.”
[*]The following Sabbath’s topic will be “The Theology of the Blues.”
[*]There is their upcoming Rummage Sale.

[/list]The pastor’s church is not renouncing its “faith heritage.” They still have Sunday morning services in the Sanctuary and Sabbath celebration for those who prefer them. They still wear the Methodist name, their pastor still carries a Bible into the pulpit. Of course, their faith and worship bear little resemblance to the church established by John and Charles Wesley. All of these “church” activities are presented under the acronym of S.E.E.K., i.e., Spiritual Enrichment ... Education ... Knowledge. They are trying hard to be relevant.

This interesting bulletin provides us some idea of where some of our churches are headed. For if they travel the same road of consumer-driven religions, such as the UMC, they will almost certain arrive at the same destination. Of course, the UMC folks are some 40 years ahead of our change agents, so it will take a while for our brethren to catch up. But you can be certain they will.

Just look at the Disciples of Christ. A hundred and fifty years ago they were one with us. Today there is hardly a nickel’s worth of difference between them and the UMC. They set out on their journey down the wide road over a century ago. They have long since arrived at the camp of Liberal Protestantism. Our younger brethren will live to see some of our “flagship change churches” reach that same point. Those who love Christ and his church, who honor his Divine will, watch with tear-filled eyes as they depart on their journey. Futilely, we try to call them back, but they cannot hear because their ears they have stopped (Zech. 7:11). Their hearts are set on being like the churches around them (I Sam. 8:5). </font>

____________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

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

February 27th, 2005, 10:35 pm #29

Donnie,

I'm addressing you instead of John because you continue to post his work and opinions. I don't believe it's wrong, but it might be better for some of the casual readership to see that you are doing just that. Maybe if you placed a note at the beginning or end of John's messages.

"Those who love Christ and his church, who honor his Divine will, watch with tear-filled eyes as they depart on their journey."

That's true for the stagnant brotherhood that's concerned only with "doing it right" as they have come to believe and understand. The "true church" is not concerned with doing it right, but being relevant to a lost and hurting generation. We are blessed at Madison with strong leadership and membership that has transcended the problems of division, and is now moving forward with love for each other, the lost and understand that we must be the harvesters in the fields that God has prepared.

What a shame it has been in my experience to see many pioneers of the 50's, 60's and 70's turn into settlers in the new millenium.

blessings
chuck
<")))><
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

February 28th, 2005, 9:00 am #30

<font size=3 color=indigo face=Times New Roman>Chuck,

I have done a number of times what you and others have suggested—but probably not enough for certain people who think that change agents operating in the brotherhood should just have it their way—creating discord, confusion and conflicts among the brethren. And what I have done these few times was to log in as myself, post the article, and provide the source. I know I haven’t done it enough because I simply felt undeserving of being credited for posting these excellent articles. As you may have experienced, posting an article in the original format is quite time consuming—considering font size, bolding, italicizations, indentions, bulleted items, etc., … you know, that HTML stuff. Now, I can resume doing it that way—indicating my name and e-mail address as the poster.

If you were to ask what business I had in posting John’s excellent articles … well, the “Concerned Members” site and John Waddey have similar objectives and concerns in regard to the Change Movement and the change agents. John is keenly aware of Madison’s situation and of other congregations that have been “transformed” into Community Churches. I have been in constant correspondence with him since near the start of this site. He has given me permission to post any of his articles, has appreciated my time and efforts in assisting him forewarn uninfected congregations [remember: “Forewarned is forearmed”] via his writings. Actually, I am not done with his requests by any means.

I only partially agree with your last statements. I believe God’s truth does not change and His directives for the church remain constant. Christ does not change; His gospel message was not designed to be redesigned by humanity in order to make it relevant due to cultural changes. The gospel is already relevant to any culture or generation. And there is a vast difference between (1) teaching others that by God’s grace a sinner can be redeemed in the blood of the Lamb by being baptized into His death and rise to walk in newness of life—a life of service for the Master—AND (2) teaching others otherwise. There’s more to spiritual birth than “accepting Christ as one’s personal Savior” and that’s it? What is “accepting Christ…” supposed to mean or what does it entail? It is also erroneous to teach that grace or faith alone in a Christian’s life leads to eternal salvation. On the part of a Christian, God’s grace does not contradict a Christian’s good works—one is a divine source or provision and the other a Christian servant’s responsibility or obligation. That’s what “doing it right” means to me. The Holy Scripture says so, and that’s neither legalism or Pharisaical.

No, it has not been a shame in my experience to see the results of evangelism in the 50’s and 60’s. Christ’s church was one of the fastest-growing religious groups (by census designation) in that generation—and such accomplishments weren’t due to entertainment gimmicks or watered-down teaching, either.

Anyway, Chuck, thanks for the suggestion.

Donnie </font>
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