<font size=3 color=indigo face=Times Nes Roman>Chuck,
Are you asking if I am now a member of the church of Christ or of a Community Church? Never mind. Just kidding
I understand your reasoning behind the title of your post. Ill try to explain it below.
My statement regarding Johns keen awareness was a setupand you were trapped. No, I did not misunderstand you. I think you misunderstood me. So, let me explain [the trap
- "John is keenly aware of Madisons situation and of other congregations that have been transformed into Community Churches."
If the statement above is parsed correctly, we will note two separate items listed in reference to Johns keen awareness:
Madison's situation and
other congregations that have been 'transformed' into Community Churches.
[/list]Moreover, I don't believe a "situation" can become a community church. Also, "other congregations" is the antecedent of "that have been 'transformed' into Community Churches."
In regard to the results of evangelism in the 50's and 60's, I was alluding to the growth among churches of Christ in general. Would you believe that Madison did not even come to mind? Believe me, the issue is not about innovative techniques that do not alter God's plan of salvation or advanced technologies. The issue is not about the use of the bus to transport to the assembly those without means. The issue is not about church buildings or auditoriums or houses for the gathering of the saints nor is the order of worship, etc., etc. The issue is about the "innovated gospel" message. If you and I agree on what the simple gospel message really is (because that in itself is a doctrinal matter), then, there is no argument between us. Otherwise, it is a grave responsibility for Christians to stand up for the truth and to be loyal to Christ and His church. In regard to caring for the poor, reaching out to the lost, loving each other ... these are not the issues.
You asked me about Phil's "gospel" message this week. Let's see ... I'm looking at my notes. The subject of his oration was "It's a Good Thing You Have Problems." He presented two main points: (1) Make purity a priority and (2) God goes first. I don't believe he elaborated on his remark that God's family is a safe place for "sinners" and "saints." It is my understanding of the scriptures that sinners are not members of God's family until after they have been born again and added to His family. (Note: I'm not referring to those who visit during the assembly.) Perhaps you can clarify something for me ... sometimes I have a hearing problem. Did he mention that he smoked (cigarettes) even early in his marriage and quit smoking soon after? Or, was it someone else? I realize he was using that to make a point.
Honestly and I'm sorry to disappoint you, but Phil has yet to impress me. I see a pattern as to which direction Madison is going, especially now that the "interim" Bruce White period (to "cool it") is over. Between Phil Barnes as the senior pulpit minister and Keith Lancaster as "the Worship Leader," the leadership may eventually accomplish its goal of "transforming" the Madison church into _______________ [you may fill that in]. Keep in mind, it is a gradual, subtle process; it is incremental and seemingly unnoticeable.
By the way, it's my turn to ask you this question: Do you think Bruce White should be an evangelist (using his talent) somewhere else?