chuck sonn
chuck sonn

February 28th, 2005, 9:07 pm #31

Donnie,

Do I understand this correctly?

"John is keenly aware of Madison’s situation and of other congregations that have been “transformed” into Community Churches."

So you now attend a community church?

I think you misunderstood me.

"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."

The assembly at Madison during that period was using innovative techniques and cutting edge ideas. If you check the writings of ultra right wing brethren of the period, you'll see that they were under condemnation then also. My point is that we must be relevant to the current generation. I'm not for watering down the gospel or creating an entertainment environment. I'm for communicating the simple message of God's love for us by comming here as a sacrifice in our behalf. That is the Gospel message. I agree that living a Godly life is essential to be pleasing to Him. The power to do it comes from His Spirit living in us as our Counsellor and Comforter. Feel free to call that the Mind of Christ...that's totally acceptable to me. None of us really understand all the things of God anyhow. Instead of beating each other up on the right way to do it and say it, let's just be His church as we strive to please Him...care for the poor....reach out to the lost with His love and message. It's not that hard to understand or agree on.

blessings
chuck

ps...what did you think of preacher phil's gospel message this week?




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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

March 1st, 2005, 9:16 am #32

<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. I’ll try to explain it below.

My statement regarding John’s keen awareness was a setup—and 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 Madison’s 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 John’s keen awareness:

<ol>[*]of Madison's situation and
[*]of 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?

Donnie</font>
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John
John

March 2nd, 2005, 6:37 pm #33

Would having an ice cream supper, inviting the neighborhood non church going, be considered "change movement activity" or "traditional church activity?
John
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Wil Montero
Wil Montero

March 3rd, 2005, 3:49 am #34


Just wondering if ravening wolves have a sweet tooth?
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

March 4th, 2005, 9:17 am #35

Would having an ice cream supper, inviting the neighborhood non church going, be considered "change movement activity" or "traditional church activity?
John
<font color=indigo size=3 face=Times New Roman>John,

As long as there is no church Bingo or gambling before or after supper, it doesn’t matter.

It also depends on the flavor. I love the original, traditional rich and creamy strawberry flavor. It wouldn’t be like the original strawberry flavor [it would be “MIXED UP”] when combined with other flavors: chocolate, orange, grape, lemon, blackberry, blueberry, peach, grapefruit, kiwi, etc.

Your question reminds of a church activity—in fact, an entertaining one—that Madison used to have: the “Super Bowl Party." Wait ... I think I still have a copy of a schedule. Let's look at the 2003 version first:

"Souper" Bowl Sunday Celebration Service, January 26 [2003]

  • 3:45 p.m. Praise & Worship in the auditorium;
    4:45 p.m. Super Bowl Party begins in the [Church] Mall
    5:05 p.m. Kickoff on the big screen in Bixler [Chapel]
    • Invite a friend!
    • Introduce them into our fellowship!
    • Bring your favorite Super Bowl food!
    • Bring a can of soup for the Benevolence Ministry
"Souper" Bowl Sunday Celebration Service, February 1 [2004]
  • 3:30 p.m. Celebration Service in Bixler Chapel
    • --Chuck Sonn special guest speaker "Success Through Sacrifice"
      Praise Team -- Kevin D. [Keith L. was on "sabbatical" leave]
      Fellowship in the Mall
      Game shown in the [Church] Mall and Media Studio
      • Invite a friend!
      • Introduce them into our fellowship!
      • Bring your favorite Super Bowl food!
      • Bring a can of soup for the Benevolence Ministry
    6 p.m. Regular worship service in Bixler Chapel with Dr. C. Bruce White
Uh-oh! A “lesson” was learned in 2004 from the Janet Jackson “commercial” during the intermission. Remember? Just wondering and concerned about the friends invited and introduced into the fellowship.

Was there a Super Bowl in 2005? The Madison Marcher “forgot” to advertise it in 2005!

Donnie</font>
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John
John

March 4th, 2005, 6:27 pm #36

I am not sure of the meaning of your reply. Are you making fun of the question? Is the flavor that important? How did Janet Jackson become involved in a community ice cream supper?
John
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

March 4th, 2005, 7:20 pm #37

A common observation made about the traditional Church of Christ is that we insist on closely adhering to the Scriptures; that is, we are concerned about being “right.” Our earnest desire to be faithful to God’s Word offends many. In fact, the present generation on more than one occasion has recommended that the traditional Church of Christ be less concerned about being “right” and more concerned about being “relevant.” Such a recommendation implies that being faithful to God’s Word (that is, being “right”) is of lesser importance than being “relevant” to the present generation. Such a recommendation also implies that being “right” and being “relevant” are mutually exclusive.

The traditional Church of Christ practices expository preaching from the Bible with Bible study; a cappella hymn singing; taking up a collection for the Church; prayer; observance of the Lord’s Supper; exhortations to good works, the Great Commandment and Great Commission; adherence to the five steps to salvation: hearing the Word, believing the Word, repentance, confession, and water baptism by immersion for remission of sins. All this should be more than “relevant” for the faithful Christian, for the Scriptures authorize all this; that is, Christ should be all-sufficient. But apparently that’s not the case with the present generation; that is, they consider the simple practices of the traditional Church of Christ as no longer “relevant.”

So what types of CHANGES would make the Church of Christ more “relevant” today? What can we do to keep the present generation happy and interested?

(1) Should we alter our manner of preaching? Let’s drop expository preaching and incorporate jokes, amusing anecdotes, and human-interest stories. Let’s emulate some liberal Bible professors in Church of Christ universities, who fixate more on the “positive” Gospel and teach that the main purpose for Christ’s Incarnation was not to die to redeem mankind from their sins, but to serve as a liaison in order to establish “relationships” between God and mankind. Let’s not dwell much on the “dark” side of the Gospel: that man is a sinner and in need of redemption through Christ, or that God is a righteous Judge Who will most certainly damn the unrepentant soul to hell. After all, that might lower an unbeliever’s self-esteem. Let’s fixate only on God’s unconditional love. Is selective preaching being more “relevant”?

(2) Should we drop a cappella singing or change our hymns? Are our traditional hymns no longer uplifting? Very well, let’s write some new ones with beat and tempo that closely mimic secular pop songs heard on the radio. That’s what the “Purpose Driven” publications advocate. Let’s add praise bands, instruments, or other worldly innovations that SIMULATE instruments and choirs to “assist” in worship. Heaven forbid that we worship on our own! Let’s bring the Church closer to the world by making the church more LIKE the world. Let’s ignore Romans 12:2, Eph. 5:19, and violate James 4:4. Is incorporating contemporary music being more “relevant”?

(3) Should we incorporate the look and feel of performing arts centers into our churches today? Let’s take phenomenal sums from the church budget and create a theatrical environment with state-of-the art sound and lighting equipment, costumes, and all manner of devices to support all manner of drama, skits, and paid entertainers, who will “bring us into the presence of God.” Let’s ignore the “pure religion” of James 1:27 and divert these funds away from the widows, orphans, and others in true need. Is corrupting the Church with the selfishness of worldly entertainment being more “relevant”?

(4) Should we alter our doctrine so that it is less offensive to unbelievers? For example, let’s minimize or even ignore baptism as essential for salvation; let’s ignore Mark 16:16 or Acts 2:38. After all, because so many other verses mention only “faith,” baptism isn’t really necessary. Majority of verses rules, right? Let’s twist Gal. 5:1 into meaning that we have unconditional “liberty” to do as we please. Let’s ignore Gal. 5:2-6, which clarifies “liberty in Christ” to mean liberty only from the restrictions of the Law of Moses, nothing more. Let’s follow such books as “The Purpose Driven Life,” which, for example, alters John 13:35 by saying that it is our love, not our doctrinal beliefs, which is our greatest witness to the world. Let’s run on the premise that, as long as we have some kind of “love,” it really doesn’t matter what we believe or preach, if anything at all. Anything goes! Furthermore, let’s conduct surveys so that human preferences and prejudices can dictate our doctrine; everyone will be happy that way. Let’s ignore 2 John 9-11 and Gal 1:8-9. Is compromising the doctrine of Christ being more “relevant”?

(5) Should we turn a blind eye and deaf ear to those who deliberately preach false doctrine or who add to or diminish from God’s Word? Let’s be tolerant and accepting of everyone who comes along and preaches or advocates anything other than what is specifically authorized and commanded in the Word. Heaven forbid that we obey Romans 16:17 and “mark” and avoid them! Let’s allow them to grab hold of the undiscerning and lead them astray. Let’s violate Deut. 4:2 and Rev. 22:18-19. Is tolerance of false teachers being more “relevant”?

To suggest that the Church of Christ needs to change in order to become more “relevant” to a perverse and rebellious generation today is to imply that God is no longer concerned with the simple issues of right and wrong. Either a church obeys the Word completely and faithfully, or it doesn’t. Either a church exists to please God and adore Him through righteous living and acceptable worship without the slightest hint of worldly gimmicks, or it exits to please man and entertain him through self-gratification and presumptuous behavior (Gal. 1:10). The Church of Christ can remain “relevant” only by faithfully preaching and obeying the Word, for all who come to Christ do so not because of modern innovations and changes which please the senses, but only because Christ directly draws them to Him (John 6:44). All Scripture references KJV.
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Kent S
Kent S

March 7th, 2005, 7:02 pm #38

So Dr Bill,

I guess the next step would be to say that if you don't agree with your tennents you so elequently laid out, that we are all condemmed to burn in the firey lake of hell, eh?
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Ken Sublett
Ken Sublett

March 7th, 2005, 11:52 pm #39

Kent, one wonders how some people were educated! Or is it DNA?

Dr. Crump might say: "The bible teaches that baptism is necessary."

Kent undoubtedly with a Phd from Luny U says: "So, everyone who does not believe you is going to hell, huh?" Please Lord give me a better tranquilizer.

I once rehearsed some of the things the BIBLE associates with SALVATION. One a BA and one a Phd in New Testament studies piped up like they were hard wired:

"Wull-uh! whut 'r U goona do with those who hav'nt DONE all of those thangs?"

Can't you get it Kent? I can: it is part of the old Hegelian Dialectic well articulated by Machiavelli and Hitler. If someone tells you that American fighters can get to Berlin you debate the issue by insisting that their great, great, great grandfather had no earlobes and that proves that he was a JEW. Who wins the argument? Dr. Crump because by now most DISCIPLES have learned how to evaluate the facts and either ARGUE the point or fall into a whiney-piney pre hominoid ugga d ugga d ugga de ug.

If that isn't wrong I may have to change my mind about PREDESTINATION and certainly have a better grasp of the OFTEN STATED fact that people have at some time REJECTED the idea of TRUTH and they are now NOT OF FAITH or NOT OF TRUTH. Thereafter with no intermission Jesus is going to speak parables to keep YOU FROM grasping and learning from your betters. Oh, the factual statement will be understood by a third grader but the BLIND and DEAF will fight God's word. I told you about the MARK of music in many ancient documents such as the BOOK OF ENOCH defining for whom Jude indicated that God will come with ten thousand of his saints or angels to GET YOU: once you willingly accept the CONNECT between carnal feelings created by charismatic singing and preaching you will NEVER GET UP because Jesus is going to send you STRONG DULUDERS and make you PROCURE THEM with your tithes and offerings.

Ken
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

March 8th, 2005, 8:00 am #40

I am not sure of the meaning of your reply. Are you making fun of the question? Is the flavor that important? How did Janet Jackson become involved in a community ice cream supper?
John
<font size=3 color=indigo face=Times New Roman>John,

Your original question was: “Would having an ice cream supper, inviting the neighborhood non church going, be considered "change movement activity" or "traditional church activity?”

After my response, you then stated, “I am not sure of the meaning of your reply. Are you making fun of the question? Is the flavor that important? How did Janet Jackson become involved in a community ice cream supper?”

I didn’t mean for you to take it that way. I honestly felt that your question was fair and sincere. Isn’t it common knowledge when an activity occurs, such as inviting non-church-going neighbors and friends, that there is a motive, objective or purpose, such as getting acquainted with others or letting others know about the Lord’s church, etc.?

Having an ice cream supper, IMO, is not really an issue that causes or should cause division in the church. I would consider it as neither a “change movement activity” nor “traditional.” It is not a doctrinal or salvation matter that is being taught or that which causes a conflict … although I might say that the change advocates would like to use that as an example of their defense mechanisms to prove, e.g., that rhythmic clapping or rhythmic arm waving during singing [as you see in hard rock concerts] is likewise not prohibited in “speaking to one another” in congregational singing.

Having said all that, another common motive is accommodation. Comfortably watching a “Super Bowl” event at home is not supposed to supersede the “Sunday evening worship service.” That’s the reason why I mentioned the disguised “’Super’ Bowl Sunday Celebration Service”—not only at Madison but also in Episcopalian, Lutheran, Methodist, Community Churches, etc. Hopefully, John, this helps explain my earlier post and why the Janet Jackson [let’s say] “commercial” in the 2004 Super Bowl was mentioned. As far as I know, there was no “Souper Bowl Sunday Celebration Service” in 2005 at Madison, unless it wasn’t publicized.

Therefore, I cited the “Super Bowl” example(s) to show how far the leadership of a congregation can go with “things” that have entertainment to offer. It is hardly enough to just spread the simple gospel message of Christ as it is. (By the way, Dr. Crump clearly explains all this in his post above.)

Donnie </font>
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