WHAT HAPPENED AT MADISON THIS WEEK—The Timeline (Part XI)

Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

October 13th, 2006, 8:30 am #31

You couldn’t do it, could you? All I asked was, where in scripture does it say that it’s OK for you to rebel against your eldership? All it required was one scripture reference, but that was too much to ask. Oh well, here's my response.

“I don’t think you’re being fair by saying that “Madison is sinning…” according to my last post. In all of the posts I’ve written, I have never made such a declaration or even an implication. Be careful …”

*So, by doing all the horrible things you write about in every post you make, you are not saying they are sinning? So, you admit that what they are doing is NOT wrong. It is just a matter of you not liking it.

SO- that makes you, not a “defender of the faith” as you like to fancy yourself, but really more of a cry baby. I was wondering if you were ever going to admit it. Glad to see you’ve come around.




“I haven’t said that ALL contemporary musical pieces are evil or that I dislike. But I’ll admit it … that I do like some of the 7-11 [repeat 7 words 11 times ] rah-rah-rah choruses—only if I participated in rallies or campfires for seniors or in sport and other social events. I did list “Clap Your Hands” and “Oh, I was made for this: to know Your tender kiss…,” didn’t I? What a way to demonstrate awe and reverence for our Father in heaven with programmed, rhythmic clapping. What a way to translate the Savior’s agape love and suffering and death on the cross into some erotic praise music!!!”

*I don’t understand. You like it or you don’t? You’re saying two different things here. By the way, you’re beginning to sound like Sublett (who, by your own admission is a liar), calling it “erotic” praise music. I would love to hear your reasoning behind that. BUT- if it has anything to do with Zoe, Apollo, whores, flute girls, Pan, or orgies, save it.






“Did I say that the Acappella company MOVING from Paris to Nashville is wrong? I was just informing.”

*Well, let’s see… when you say, “It looks like the staff infection is spreading—not the gospel of Christ.” I’d say that’s a little more than reporting. Quit trying to be all innocent. You’re divisive in the Kingdom, and your actions, thoughts, and writings are contrary to God’s will. Denying it won’t fix it.



“Obviously, you misunderstood the “religious” implication associated with this “business” organization—yeah, you know, that money-making venture in the name of Christianity?”

*There’s nothing wrong with that. If you are Christian, and you have a job, you’re making money in the name of Christ. I detect a hint of jealousy.




“A cappella singing that’s combined with unintelligible human sounds that simulate musical instruments anyway?”

*Your preference of music is boring to some. Remember what Jesus said, “Do unto others…” Would you want someone to talk this way about your preferred style?





“Besides, did you not see the venues: First United Methodist Church and Church of the Nations?”

*So.





“Oh, calling names … discrediting their ministry … judging them … telling lies about them … my clear ignorance of a full-time ministry and the concept of salary—you say?”

*Yes. I do.




“Well, let me briefly say the following: (1) “Worship Leader”—do a Google search on it; (2) spreading the gospel of Christ to the lost is THE ministry; (3) no, not I, but God is the righteous Judge; (4) the “worship” guide, the Marcher, the Acappella newsletter, hopefully, do not lie; (5) I would not classify the Worship Leader’s arm-wagging task a few hours a week as a full-time ministry; (6) it’s worth repeating … that the musical staff’s salary is not warranted by the Holy Scripture and is a total waste of the saints’ contribution intended to help the needy—not company owners.”

*I don’t understand what this paragraph means. It’s a bunch of garbled, unrelated sentence fragments. Could you please re-state the point of it?




“And … “the authorization to rebel against the elders of the church,” you say? Hmmm! I do not recall mentioning the elders.”

*You didn’t mention them in this post, but your actions on this website, and your constant insults and criticism of them and Madison is rebellion.




“What about, instead, letting the scriptures define or identify for us who the elders are and their functions.”

“Disagreeing with the elders, especially when they have succumbed to cultural and social influences that cause conflicts and discord among the members, is not rebelling against the Chief Shepherd.”

*First of all, they haven’t “succumbed to cultural and social influences that cause conflicts and discord among the members”. They have made wise, Biblical, Godly decisions, and a small handful of the members like you have rebelled.

Second- Rebelling against the leaders God has put in place, IS rebelling against Him. At least that’s what HE says, whatever that’s worth to you. Look up Korah in your concordance, and read his story. It reminds me a lot of you.



“Roger, I would urge you to re-read the post and try to understand what God’s purpose or directive for His church really is.”

*Boy, you think quite a bit of yourself don’t you? That’s how we find out God’s will, by reading YOUR posts? What we do without you Donnie?




“Wouldn’t you question why 75% of the assembly period is being devoted to “musical worship?”

*No. Music and singing is one of the best ways we know as humans to express worship and love to God. Why WOULDN’T we devote 75% of our service to it? Just how much do you love God? Why wouldn’t you want to show it as much as you can?




“Maybe, I’m being overly simplistic, but I just cannot envision the first century church (as in Acts 20:7) having a “Worship Leader” and a group of musicians, the “Praise Team,” performing to or for the saints in Jerusalem or Ephesus, etc.”

*This is going to come as a surprise to you, but it’s NOT the first century. The “restoration movement” has got it all wrong. We are in no way under any directive to restore the first century church. If we are, we’re doing a horrible job.
<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>Consider this post as “Part 1”—to be continued as time permits. Your response to what the scriptures teach about the elders is indicative of your ignorance of their role and responsibility. And that should explain why you couldn’t find my answer to your question—“… where in scripture do you get the authorization to rebel against the elders of the church?”

You are “amazed.” I know. And that same question [an accusation, in fact; also a thrill on your part] still lingers within your very being. But let me answer your question in a different manner. Here it is—somehow I really question the validity of the expression “to rebel against the elders of the church.” If you can show me a scriptural reference to that expression, I will certainly thank you.

Well, I really just wanted to explain to you in this post where you said, “I don’t understand what this paragraph means. It’s a bunch of garbled, unrelated sentence fragments. Could you please re-state the point of it?”

Here’s what I said earlier:
  • Oh, calling names … discrediting their ministry … judging them … telling lies about them … my clear ignorance of a full-time ministry and the concept of salary—you say?

    Well, let me briefly say the following: (1) “Worship Leader”—do a Google search on it; (2) spreading the gospel of Christ to the lost is THE ministry; (3) no, not I, but God is the righteous Judge; (4) the “worship” guide, the Marcher, the Acappella newsletter, hopefully, do not lie; (5) I would not classify the Worship Leader’s arm-wagging task a few hours a week as a full-time ministry; (6) it’s worth repeating … that the musical staff’s salary is not warranted by the Holy Scripture and is a total waste of the saints’ contribution intended to help the needy—not company owners.”
OK, I’ll re-state or explain my point to you. This is easy—as I will simply break it down for you in this format: Roger’s accusation and Donnie’s response to each:
  • [Roger]: (1) Calling them names …
    [Donnie]: (1) “Worship Leader”—do a Google search on it;
  • [Roger]: (2) … discrediting their ministry …
    [Donnie]: (2) … spreading the gospel of Christ to the lost is THE ministry;
  • [Roger]: … (3) judging them …
    [Donnie]: … (3) no, not I, but God is the righteous Judge;
  • [Roger]: … (4) and telling lies about them …
    [Donnie]: … (4) the “worship” guide, the Marcher, the Acappella newsletter, hopefully, do not lie;
  • [Roger]: … (5) as well as putting on display your clear ignorance of a full-time ministry …
    [Donnie]: … (5) I would not classify the Worship Leader’s arm-wagging task a few hours a week as a full-time ministry;
  • [Roger]: … (6) and the concept of salary
    [Donnie]: … (6) it’s worth repeating … that the musical staff’s salary is not warranted by the Holy Scripture and is a total waste of the saints’ contribution intended to help the needy—not company owners.
You probably should not have left the church—which explains your derision of the “Restoration Movement.”

Till next time, Roger.

Donnie</font>
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Roger Bradley
Roger Bradley

October 14th, 2006, 5:52 am #32

“And that should explain why you couldn’t find my answer to your question—“… where in scripture do you get the authorization to rebel against the elders of the church?”

No, the reason I can’t find your answer, is because IT’S NOT IN THERE! You don’t have authorization to rebel against your elders.


“—somehow I really question the validity of the expression “to rebel against the elders of the church.” If you can show me a scriptural reference to that expression, I will certainly thank you.”
1 Timothy 5:17
The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.
Hebrews 13:17
Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.
You can thank me now, or later.

[Donnie]: (1) “Worship Leader”—do a Google search on it;
[Roger]: (1) Since when is Google any kind of authority on anything? You call Keith Lancaster, and other worship leaders and elders insulting and disrespectful names on this website all the time.


[Donnie]: (2) … spreading the gospel of Christ to the lost is THE ministry;
[Roger]: (2) … then why don’t you? You attempt to discredit his ministry when you call him “The Worship Leader” with quotation marks, as if it’s not a real title. Not to mention the constant insults.


[Donnie]: … (3) no, not I, but God is the righteous Judge;
[Roger]: … (3) you seem convinced that their activities and decisions have condemned them to Hell, without bothering to allow God to make that decision. It’s called JUDGING. Google it.


[Donnie]: … (4) the “worship” guide, the Marcher, the Acappella newsletter, hopefully, do not lie;
[Roger]: … (4) no, but you do.

[Donnie]: … (5) I would not classify the Worship Leader’s arm-wagging task a few hours a week as a full-time ministry;
[Roger]: … (5) thus the display of your ignorance


[Donnie]: … (6) it’s worth repeating … that the musical staff’s salary is not warranted by the Holy Scripture and is a total waste of the saints’ contribution intended to help the needy—not company owners.
[Roger]: … (6) It actually IS warranted by the Holy Scripture, as much as many of the other not-mentioned specifics that you think are O.K. If your OPINION is that it is a waste of money, guess what? TOO BAD. You’re not an elder, thus you must live with it. If they are wrong, they will answer to God. It’s not your place to publicly post criticism of them on a website or anywhere else. To do so is rebellion, which is wrong. See above.


“You probably should not have left the church—which explains your derision of the “Restoration Movement.”

My derision of the Restoration Movement, comes from the fact that in over 100 years of effort, they are nowhere near looking anything like the first century church. They’re not even trying. It’s a facade. There is no true restoration movement, nor should there be. This isn’t the first century.


Till next time, Donnie.

Roger
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

October 20th, 2006, 5:56 am #33

<font size=3 face=times new roman>February 2001

Most Madison Church of Christ members were oblivious to this article, “More Holyroller Influence at Madison” in the February "Plumbline Newsletter" which quotes the "Madison Marcher.”
  • The third worship service at Madison is to be held at the same time as the 10:30 a.m. worship. The "atmosphere will be more conducive to non-Christians. Many “unchurched” people are intimidated by a more formal atmosphere...." The worship affair will be an effort "...to make it easier for people with no church background to feel comfortable.... More time will be given to singing and communion... The sermons will not be as long as what we are used to. There is no question that God is working among our church family. He recognized our suppressed capacity to love…. Attendance for this first Sunday was 538 souls." Jim Hinkle said, "We will not be still, we will not be quiet."
February 2001

The elders announced that a "Third Contemporary" service that they had previously formed was going to be melted into the 10:00 a.m. or second service.
  • This announcement established a "contemporary service" at 10:00 AM and the 8:00 AM service remained unchanged. While making this announcement, Elder Buck Dozier said the Fire Marshal’s office had said there were too many people in the third service for the size of the auditorium. Since Buck is the past Fire Chief, one has to wonder if this was just a staged excuse to proceed with what was already planned.
February 25, 2001

Tom Haddon is instructing his "Homebuilders" class on how to transition the church members over to the ways of the Saddleback Community Church and that of "Holy Entertainment." He talks about the well laid plans that only a few know about. See the transcript of February 25th class.

March 2001

Praise teams, hand clapping, and raised hands during prayer have been introduced at the second service. Children’s Sunday school has been changed from Bible-based to more entertainment and singing. Young women teaching Sunday school to baptized young men.

April 13, 2001

The elders respond to a NewsChannel5 report about growing controversy at the Madison Church of Christ. They send out a LETTER to 683 Churches of Christ in the Channel 5 viewing area.
  • "The controversy seems to be over-reaction to change. The main things we have done in the 10:30 service are introduce more upbeat praise songs, give less time to the sermon, and give greater emphasis to the Lord's Supper. This embraces a more contemporary format, of course, but we don't feel that it departs from scriptural worship."

    See ConcernedMembers’ Letter to the Elders of 683 Churches of Christ.
April 22, 2001

In this meeting on April 22, 2001 the deacons ask the elders, “What is going on?” On May 02,2001 the Elders reply in a letter. Here Are the Questions and the Elders’ Answers

May 2001

Concerned members receive a copy of a rough draft of a "Covenant of Membership" that was supposedly written by Elder Buck Dozier. Mr. Dozier admitted "playing" around with one when contacted.
  • The concern about a "Covenant of Membership" is that it's one of the hallmark signs of a "Community Church" like Saddleback. They are generally written in such a way to assure that the membership can't take over the "community church" like they took over your church.
July 2001

According to THIS ARTICLE in the Tennessean, the elders bring in a mediator (Larry Sullivan) to help with the split within the church. We understand that Buck Dozier met Mr. Sullivan while attending a "seminar." Meetings are set up for the elders—we understand they had to swear to secrecy. Meetings are set up for the members to discuss their objections to the split contemporary and traditional services.

It's later shown by the ConcernedMembers that LARRY SULLIVAN is not an unbiased mediator. He has direct ties to the Saddleback organization. He is trained in using the HEGELIAN DIALECTIC techniques to compromise a groups consensus in whatever direction is predetermined.

Mid-August, 2001

By this time many members have left the Church. The unpaid volunteer minister on this particular Sunday abruptly left before giving his sermon at the second service. He was allowed only the last 6 minutes of worship time by the “worship leader.” Sometime during this period, Buck Dozier appeared in Bill Ruhl's adult class to take over. Bill Ruhl's absence was unexplained to the class.

August 29, 2001

Concerned members send out 2500 ballots and a LETTER asking for church members to indicate on the ballot the type of church service format they wanted. All ballots were to be received by September 20, 2001. Threatening phone calls are received by the contractor hired by ConcernedMembers to do the mailing (August 30, 2001). Other notes not full of brotherly love are received by mail. Ballots from ConcernedMembers mailing are tabulated, and totals posted along with a FINAL REPORT (September 15, 2001)

September 23, 2001

The members have been waiting on an announcement from the elders regarding the future format of services at the Madison Church of Christ. Today (09-23-01) that announcement was made.
  • EVERYTHING WILL REMAIN AS IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
September 30, 2001 (Sunday)

Larry Sullivan was Guest Speaker! (The Unbiased Mediator)

October 11, 2001 (Thursday)

Deacons had a special meeting with an attendance of over 100 concerned members and deacons. Petitions were given out to collect signatures—to dismiss “the elders that have split the Madison Church of Christ.” Petitions are due to be turned in by Wednesday the 17th.

October 14, 2001 (Sunday)

Frank Scott delivered his first in a series of talking head animated and canned sermons. Sometime during this period, two elders resigned—J.D. Elliott and Bobby McElhiney.

October 17, 2001 (Wednesday)

A member reported that Wednesday night when she inquired at the help desk as to where she should turn in her petitions, she was told by the lady: "Over there with the trouble makers … they are the mafia." Sometime during this period two more elders talked about resigning! No confirmation of that as of today.

October 21, 2001 (Sunday)

Sermon—Second in a three-part series of Frank Scott being a talking head for a canned and animated sermon on joy and entertainment. The words "corporate worship" and joy and entertainment were used extensively. Interesting!

Deacons—The deacons, headed by Ben Jones, nicely and in a very godly way asked the leaders to step down and let the church elect new leadership. (Complete transcript is available.)

October 24, 2001 (Wednesday)

”Elders and Deacons” meeting tonight! We understand that the 7 or 8 elders that have caused a split at Madison Church of Christ have been formally asked to step down or be disfellowshipped.

October 25, 2001 (Thursday)

”Saddleback Planters” meeting tonight! Talked about rebuking Ben Jones Sunday!
  • To rebuke is to criticize or reprove sharply; to reprimand.
    To reprove is to criticize for a fault or misdeed; to scold.
    To rebuke or reprove Ben Jones, then, Ben Jones must have done a misdeed.
    To define that misdeed, those who will rebuke him must find applicable scriptures.
What Ben did was to give each and every Madison Church of Christ member an opportunity to ask for forgiveness or repentance for causing division or for allowing division to occur.

October 26, 2001 (Friday)
  • Flash message coming in the next 72 hours from the ConcernedMembers!
October 28, 2001 (Sunday)

T H E...M A D I S O N...C H U R C H...O F...C H R I S T...H A S...B E E N...H I J A C K E D ! !

Today, according to an announcement made by everyone's favorite elder, Russ Kersten, the church has been hijacked by all the concerned members, deacons and I guess that includes the 5 elders that have been holding out against them. … Is “hijack” a chargeable offense in the church?

October 29, 2001 (Monday)

We received a copy of a letter sent to the deacons. And we felt compelled to reply. ConcernedMembers announced future plans (10/30/01). The server for this web page has recorded 22,645 page views since its creation 8 weeks ago (11/1/01).

November 2, 2001

Transcript of Homebuilders Sunday School class—a recording of Tom Haddon on how to transition the congregation to Saddleback and Holy Entertainment in Homebuilders Class (available under Interviews & Transcripts).

November 4, 2001

J.R. Compton and wife, members at Madison Church of Christ for 58 years, came before congregation to ask for forgiveness and ask to have their names removed as members.

November 7, 2001

Interview with Gary McDade of the Getwell Church of Christ in Memphis, TN. Discussion concerning the takeover of churches by the "Community Church" movement and the embracement of this movement by many of the Christian colleges.

November 9, 2001

Two different sources say Bruce White has been hired as a new minister.

November 20, 2001

ConcernedMembers retract a letter sent by the elders to 683 churches of Christ.

November 21, 2001

Email from J.E. Choate—“And also another personal evaluation is that Buck Dozier should be the first to leave the Madison eldership. His qualifications for the work is moot at best. His past shows that he is no stranger to igniting church fires with no solutions."

November 28, 2001 December 02, 2001

Bruce White appears to have been warmly welcomed as new minister at the Madison Church of Christ. First sermon was about the degrees of love. It appears that the “Praise Team” and their microphones have been turned off in the second service for the time being.

December 18, 2001

Fundraising letter sent out by the Church. Student ministry letter to former members (12/19/01).

January 20, 2002 (Sunday)

Rumor says there is a new group forming called "The PeaceMakers." Their training is probably coming from PEPPERDINE.

January 21, 2002 (Monday)

Letter sent by Donnie Cruz to the elders and other people about the crisis at Madison. The Christian Chronicle publishes article about Madison Church of Christ (01/21/02).

February 4, 2002 (Monday)

We understand that Buck has presented the members of “The Peacemakers" with a list of 192 reasons churches split. We wonder if pagan worship practices were on the list?

February 6, 2002 (Wednesday)

Big flare-up at church Wednesday night. We understand 4 or 5 of the good and godly elders have resigned, leaving the church under the control of the clapper and Saddleback crowd.

February 9, 2002 (Saturday)

After the resignation of two elders last year, Madison Church of Christ was left with 13 elders: Bill Bennett, Dale Bishop, John Broadway, Joe Corley, Buck Dozier, Chris Gingles, Howard Henderson, Tommy Hoppes, Russ Kersten, Charles Link, Ken Rice, Norman Slate, Ray Wilson. Five of these elders had been opposed to the "praise teams" and clapping which had permeated the second service since last February 2001. This was when Elder Buck Dozier first announced the decision to turn the new third service loose on the second service. The five elders that were opposed we believe were: Joe Corley, Bill Bennett, Dale Bishop, Norman Slate, and Charles Link.

It's understood Tom Haddon and about 200 of his followers threatened to leave sometime ago when the praise teams were stopped. It's understood that Chris Gingles encouraged them to stay and fight it out. Recently the Haddon followers put the push back on to bring back the praise teams, through the elders they control. It's understood that the elders had become rather hostile toward each other, and when this push came again, then 4 of the 5 elders resigned. Charles Link was out of town, and it is assumed he will resign when he returns.

Quote as told to Bobby M. Johnson by one of the elders: "... told me that there had been a recent meeting of the 10:30 AM crowd including Chris Gingles’ and Tom Haddon's followers and they said they would never leave. So that with the push to return to the praise teams and the microphones was the “last straw."

The 5 elders had already decided to resign if the “winds of change” didn't subside. So that's that! 3 of these elders also announced that they would probably be attending church at other locations sometime in the future. [No one here blames them, and we can only try to imagine the pain they have been put through. We are sure that like many of us they were unable to continue to worship in that building.]
  • HAS GOD LEFT THE BUILDING?

    ConcernedMembers announce statewide newspaper advertising campaign
February 10, 2002 (Sunday)
  • Sunday Services reviewed by Donnie Cruz [see earlier “Timeline”]
February 11, 2002 (Monday)

We at ConcernedMembers have been told that when the 4 elders resigned, that they were assured that their letter would be read to the congregation. Well, as you are probably aware ... not only did their letter not get read, there was also no mention of their resignation, other than a little blip in the Marcher. We have been promised a copy of this letter, and we intend to post it on the web as soon as we get it up.
  • The Elders’ Resignation Letter Is Here [see earlier “Timeline”]
February 2-17, 2002
  • Announcement by the Elders [see earlier “Timeline”]
March 1, 2002

The Trap Has Been Set at the Madison Church of Christ [see earlier “Timeline”]

In the February 20, 2002 Madison Marcher, statement made by the elders February 17, 2002:
  • 4. "We believe that there can be unity in diversity and will continue to employ two styles of worship services."
March 10, 2002 (Sunday)

Screen presentation of the elders [6 have already resigned] and their length of service helps Donnie Cruz to figure it out:
  • <font face=courier>(1) John Broadway ...... since 1998
    (2) Buck Dozier ........ since 1996
    (3) Chris Gingles ...... since 1998
    (4) Howard Henderson ... since 1999
    (5) Tommy Hoppes ....... since 1999
    (6) Russ Kersten ....... since 1992
    (7) Charles Link ....... since 1978
    (8) Ken Rice ........... since 1989
    (9) Ray Wilson ......... since 1992</font>

    (Most of the Remaining Elders Are ... That Explains It! [see earlier “Timeline”])
March 24, 2002 (Sunday)

Charismatic Contemporary Style Continues: March 24, 2002 [see earlier “Timeline”]
  • I don’t believe it is all right to be singing “It’s All Right” when the church is not united in spirit because of what this worship facilitation program has done to begin with. It is NOT ALL RIGHT when the body of Christ is suffering….
March 31, 2002
  • SUNDAY SERVICES—“Easter"

    Notes from the “Madison Marcher” (Wednesday, March 27, 2002):

    Bruce White: “We are going to have a great day next Sunday. It is Easter, and we [are] looking for a large crowd. I especially want to see the children in the colorful clothes.” Of the “Great Day in May” (May 5): “… will have a big lunch under the tent at 12:00. One of our choruses will entertain at 1:30.”
May 19-26, 2002; June 2, 2002
  • Changes Continue At Madison [see earlier Timeline]

    (1) the present deacons will be interviewed by the elders and new deacons will be named; (2) there will be additional elders to be selected; (3), the "love feast" -- and it's only "fitting" -- is to follow the Lord's Supper; (4) Canaan's Land is moving; (5) the "praise team" will be reinstated in the early part of July.
June 23, 2002 (Sunday)
  • ELDER CHARLES LINK RESIGNS, and more!
August 1, 2002
  • Is There a Tithing Pledge in Madison's Future? Donnie Cruz reports, there could be!
September 1, 2002 (Sunday)
  • Small Groups, Living Stones, or Prayer Circles?
October 27, 2002
  • TITHING NT Christians for Services of the OT Levitical Priests

    We are continuing to monitor the progress of the tithing campaign at Madison as taught by Dr. White, based on the tithing manual (“Take God at His Word”) written by Dr. Kregg Hood. Is the truth about tithing (equals 10%) continuing to be perverted as a CARRY-OVER and as a PERPETUAL command from the Old Testament for New Testament Christians? Since Dr. White proclaimed his message in August 2002 that we TITHE to TEST God and to let Him give the increase, we will be referring to the following amounts collected as being “TITHED”:

    <font face=courier>==================================================================
    Church Budget ----------------- 47,143 (2001) ---- 38,000 (2002)
    Children’s Home ---------------- 5,400 (2001) ----- 4,021 (2002)
    Amazing Grace/CPI -------------- 3,000 (2001) ----- 1,539 (2002)
    ==================================================================
    TOTAL BUDGET---- -------------- 55,543 (2001) ---- 43,560 (2002)
    ==================================================================
    ------------- (Sermons on “TITHING” in August 2002) ------------</font>
November 7, 2002
  • Transcription of Bruce White's Sermon on Tithing [see earlier Timeline]

    VOTE:
    Would you be willing to sign a Tithing Pledge?
    Would you be willing to sign a Church Oath or Covenant?
January 5, 2003 (Sunday)

DRAMA MINISTRY KICKOFF JANUARY 19 (by Kelley Hughes, Madison Marcher)
  • Drama is nothing new at Madison Church of Christ. From the Summer Spectaculars to Canaan’s Land … we have a long and great tradition of using drama to touch the lives of our members and visitors…. So Jesus himself used A TYPE OF THEATRE to help get his point across…. You may know of someone who is “UNCHURCHED” … The Drama Ministry kickoff meeting will be on January 19 at 5 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.
April 13, 2003 (Sunday)

EASTER SUNDAY IN “CANAAN’S LAND” (Madison Marcher: April 9, 2003)
  • Easter Sunday is very special to all of us. For the last ten years in Canaan’s Land, we’ve used our time together on that Sunday to reenact the last week in the life of Jesus…. Responsibilities will range from … to dressing kids to assisting at the various story “sets” (e.g., HELPING SERVE CHILDREN BREAD AND GRAPE JUICE DURING THE LAST SUPPER [emphasis, d.c.]). All of us will celebrate Communion together as we reenact the LORD sharing it with His apostles and telling them its meaning.
(On May 19, 2003, Chris: “I received a copy of the CD that has the worship service from "Easter" on it. It was given to me by a member of the production crew there. … Was there any preaching? Or just reading?” Jeremy responded: “I do agree with what has been said about the Easter service. It definitely was a show. And most of the people I've talked to about that service say the same thing….”

May 12, 2003 (Monday)

Madison Church of Christ, Incorporated: ONE YEAR LATER
  • Annual Membership Meeting (Madison Marcher, Vol. 52, No. 19, May 7, 2003):

    Because Madison Church of Christ is now incorporated, we are required to have an annual membership meeting. This meeting will be on Wednesday, June 4, 2003, at 6 p.m. in the Auditorium for the transaction of such business as may come before the meeting.
June 4, 2003

Madison Marcher (6/4/03) announces: “Broadway Resigns From Eldership.” Ken Rice, May Chairman of the Eldership, said, “It is with great regret that we have received the resignation of John Broadway. Here is his statement:”
  • After much prayer and deliberation over the past several weeks, I have decided to submit my resignation from the eldership of the Madison Church of Christ….
June 19, 2003

A comparative analysis of statistics from the 2003 publication of “Churches of Christ in the United States,” compiled by Mac Lynn. The counts, based on the reported numbers in 2002, consist of: (1) membership [assumedly “baptized” believers], (2) average worship attendance, (3) adherents [including children?]. Please notice MCC’s staggering data.
  • <font face=courier>---------------------------------------- Members/Attendance/Adherents
    Goodlettsville Church of Christ ---------- 490 ----- 685 ----- 770
    Hendersonville Church of Christ --------- 1557 ---- 1323 ---- 2105
    Woodmont Hills Church of Christ(*)------- 1660 ---- 2300 ---- 2500
    Madison Church of Christ ---------------- 3142 ---- 1786 ---- 4730
    Richland Hills Church of Christ, TX ----- 4450 ---- 3700 ---- 5240

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    (*) Not listed as “Woodmont Hills Family of God” in the directory
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~</font>
July 23, 2003

Madison Marcher: “We are expanding the leadership of this great church.
  • Terry Ashley,
    Mark Street,
    Phil Coats
are being added to the eldership today. We are so pleased to see this number grow and expect to be able to service more effectively with these men in place.”

August 6, 2003

Madison Marcher: “The Madison Church of Christ has always had a heart for children and will continue to respond to, assist, and nurture children. We have our camp, youth activities, classes, and other programs for children … Morning Star Sanctuary…. So, we need to support all of these activities through our Sunday School Contribution. The Childcare program … however, will be closed. The State of Tennessee Children’s Services has altered the approach to childcare….”

August 13, 2003

Madison Marcher: “The shepherds are planning a new vision for Madison. They will be listening for awhile and then formulating what the Spirit leads them to envision for this church. Your prayers are earnestly solicited.”

September 3, 2003
  • Madison Marcher: “We want to encourage both 8:00 and 10:30 services. You will see the designation “traditional” and “contemporary” on our sign and in publication to inform the community of a choice. We hope that both times will see increase in attendance and involvement.” . . . “CALLING ALL SINGERS! The Worship and Music ministry is looking for additional singers. We are especially in need of male singers….” [also appeared in the next 2 weeks].
September 17, 2003
  • Madison Marcher: “Check your Saturday newspaper and find our new advertisement! . . . ||EVERY SUNDAY||--||Traditional Worship 8:00 am||--||Sunday School 9:30 am||--||Contemporary Worship 10:30 am||--||Evening Worship 6:00 pm|| . . . ||Pulpit Minister, Dr. C. Bruce White||--||Worship Minister, Keith Lancaster||”
September 28, 2003

The message on this Sunday was “Worthy of Double Honor.” It had been announced: “We are planning a very special day on September 28. We will be honoring our shepherds that day.” Former elders (J.D. Elliott, Bobby McElhiney, Charles Link, etc., with their wives) were honored first; current elders, with their wives, were also honored.

October 8, 2003
  • Madison Marcher: “Please pray for our shepherds. These men are going through some very trying meetings right now. The future of this congregation is weighing heavy on their hearts as they seek the Spirit’s guidance. They need your support and encouragement.”
December 15, 2003
  • A special e-mail has been received: “<font color=indigo>… I am troubled by the innovations, because they seem mostly to lean toward entertainment and behavior that I grew up associating with Pentecostal orgiastic ‘worship services.’ I quit going to Tulsa due to this. ...” </font>
December 17, 2003
  • Madison Marcher: “Keith Lancaster will be taking a sabbatical from Madison for the next several months to spend more time with Acappella. We wish him well and look forward to his return!”
February 4, 2004

Madison Marcher: “A WORD FROM THE SHEPHERDS”
  • Shepherds’ Vision 2004: The shepherds have spent the last several months focusing on prayer and preparation of a course for the church family at Madison. … We will maintain a traditional worship style in our 8:00 service on Sunday morning and a contemporary style of worship at 10:30. We are interested in accommodating a worship style which connects the worshipper with the Creator … The elders have implemented a functional change in their roles as shepherds. An Elders Administrative Committee composed of … and Buck Dozier, in conjunction with the Business Manager, will handle day-to-day administrative details. The remaining elders will give their “attention to prayer and the ministry of the Word.” The goal of the elders is to “smell like sheep.” … The Deacons Administrative Committee….

    We will be searching for a pulpit minister, as Dr. White enters partial retirement. He will continue to work on staff in other ministries. We look for a long relationship with him and Judy.

    We will be looking for anew youth minister to lead our program of developing our young people into leaders for tomorrow.
February 18, 2004

“A Little Flavor of Rick Warren’s Saddleback Community Church-ism”—the following was advertised in the Madison Marcher:
  • 27th Ladies Renewal (April 16th-17th, 2004) in Cadiz, KY—

    Come share the Love of Our Lord and your sisters in Christ.
    ”The Purpose Driven Life”
    We will use the book by Rick Warren as we study God’s Word
March 10, 2004
  • Interactive EASTER drama worship—Dr. White announces change in schedule: The drama presentation on “Easter Sunday” will no longer be an event in the “traditional” worship—it will be performed only during the “contemporary” worship.
March 23, 2004
  • Announcement on the Church Sign: <font color=blue>WORSHIP WITH US EASTER APRIL 11, 8 & 10:30 A.M. … EASTER PASSION WORSHIP DRAMA AT 10:30 A.M. </font>
  • Easter Worship Drama (Madison Marcher, March 17, 2004). “ . . . <font color=indigo>Easter Sunday [emphasis here and elsewhere, dc] is always a special time at Madison—but this year, April 11th is going to be unlike any worship experience we’ve ever shared together. During our 10:30 service [wonder why not at 8:00 am, dc], the story of Christ’s last hours—culminating in His Crucifixion and Resurrection—will be presented in the form of an interactive worship drama.

    Everyone is encouraged to attend this special time of worship
    </font>
April 5, 2004
  • FRONT PAGE re “EASTER SUNDAY PASSION DRAMA”: (MADISON MARCHER, March 31, 2004). “ . . . <font color=indigo>Experience much of the excitement next week as our Easter Sunday Passion Drama plays out at the 10:30 service [wonder why not at 8:00 am, dc] . . . We’ll join Jesus and His apostles in the upper room where we, as a congregation, will celebrate the Lord’s Supper. … This promises to be a very moving, powerful retelling of the Easter Story….”

    Calendar: April 11 (Sunday—Easter) … Easter Worship Drama … 10:30 a.m.— ”The story of Christ’s last hours culminating in His Crucifixion and Resurrection will be presented in the form of an interactive worship drama.
    </font>
April 12, 2004

Jim Morris, who began serving as an elder at the same time with Pat Burch and Marty Rothschild in September, 2002, made the following announcement in the Madison Marcher (Vol. 53, No. 13, April 7, 2004), “Statement to Madison Church:” This is not the time for me to serve this body as an elder.

The Preacher Potpourri column in the Madison Marcher has announced the following (4.21.04): “We are adding more elders. We want you to submit names to help in the process. Think through your selections, write his name or names on a piece of paper, and share it with one of our shepherds.”

June 9, 2004
  • Russ Kersten retires from eldership (Madison Marcher reports).
June 16, 2004
  • Ray Wilson retires from eldership (Madison Marcher reports).

    There were 15 elders at the end of September 2001—10 of whom have resigned since. Is this report . . . troubling?
    <font face=courier>
    J.D. Elliott ----------- resigned 10/2001
    Bobby McElhiney -------- resigned 10/2001
    Joe Corley ------------- resigned 02/2002
    Bill Bennett ----------- resigned 02/2002
    Dale Bishop ------------ resigned 02/2002
    Norman Slate ----------- resigned 02/2002
    Charles Link ----------- resigned 06/2002 (… served since 1978)
    John Broadway ---------- resigned 06/2003 (… served since 1998)
    Ray Wilson ------------- resigned 06/2004 (… served since 1992)
    Russ Kersten ----------- resigned 06/2004 (… served since 1992)

    Ken Rice --------------- has served since ---1989
    Buck Dozier ------------ has served since ---1996
    Chris Gingles ---------- has served since ---1998
    Howard Henderson ------- has served since ---1999
    Tommy Hoppes ----------- has served since ---1999

    Jim Morris ------------- resigned 04/2004 (… served since 09/2002)
    Pat Burch -------------- has served since 09/2002
    Marty Rothschild ------- has served since 09/2002
    Terry Ashley ----------- has served since 07/2003
    Phil Coats ------------- has served since 07/2003
    Mark Street ------------ has served since 07/2003</font>
July 7, 2004
  • “From the Madison Search Committee” (Madison Marcher)

    “Several months ago … two groups appointed by the elders began praying and working toward the goals of hiring new pulpit and youth ministers. [Both committees included an elder liaison, other men as well as women in each.] … Pray that God … will make His will obvious, and that He will bless Tory’s efforts as he seeks out new opportunities [really?]. …

    “As announced, our new pulpit minister (once hired) will enjoy a period of transition with Bruce and be fully in place by the end of the year. Our new youth minister will join our existing ministry team and assume Tory’s responsibilities—also by year end.” [cf. thread on Tory Tredway]
July 14, 2004
  • Madison Marcher’s special report that “Keith Lancaster returns from sabbatical

    “The Madison family would like to welcome back Keith Lancaster as worship leader. Keith has been on sabbatical, producing two new albums for The Acappella Company. … In addition to working on the new albums, Keith attended the Pepperdine Lectureship in California and led worship at events in Texas…. ‘It is so great to be back with everyone at Madison,’ Keith said. ‘I really missed leading worship here.’

    “Keith will teach a number of new songs in the upcoming weeks, primarily in Homebuilders class on Sunday mornings and Prayer & Praise class on Wednesday nights.

    “Madison is very fortunate to have men who are able to lead worship and not just lead songs. …Lipscomb University now offers a worship ministry major, showing the growth of this trend among Churches of Christ
August 11, 2004
  • In “Devoted: Come to the Table” (Madison Marcher, August 11, 2004), it is explained that the “last quarter of 2004 will be devoted to communion and table fellowship” … “each family is encouraged to purchase a copy of Come to the Table, by John Mark Hicks….”

    In “Come to the Table” (by Dawn Ferguson) …
    • Beginning September 26, Haddon will be sharing the premises behind Hicks’ book with his class as other teachers are also doing throughout the church. To help with the “revisioning” of the Lord’s Supper, … “Janelle is painting two images for the class that will be before us the entire six weeks we’ll be discussing communion,” said Haddon. “One will be the table. The other will be the altar. She’ll be depicting the things we think of when we think of altar – sacrifice, blood, etc. For the table, she’ll be painting Adam and Eve in the garden in the presence of God – before sin separated them from God.”

      Haddon has asked Wells to paint during each class. “Kathy and I are still discussing and praying about what that painting will be,” said Haddon. “Hopefully, it will bring about the overall sense of hope and joy that Hicks believes is symbolized by the table of fellowship.” “… The living host is present at the table eating and drinking with his disciples. … The table on that first Easter, on that first Sunday, was a table of joy and celebration. There was no solemnity, sadness or burdened hearts.” ( Come to the Table, pg. 87)
    [“Come to the Table” (“Revisioning” the Lord’s Supper) authored by John Mark Hicks is taught at Madison.]
August 18, 2004
  • “Madison Has Two New Elders” (Madison Marcher). See the June 16, 2004 list, plus:

    <font face=courier>John Hagan ------------- appointed August 2004
    Jim Wilson ------------- appointed August 2004 </font>
October 6, 2004
  • In “Phil Barnes/Pulpit MinisterFrom the Elders (Madison Marcher):

    “Before his start date of November 1 [2004] , we would like to share some of our thoughts regarding Phil [Barnes]. … Phil Barnes is that man. We believe he is a God-lead choice whose strengths closely match the needs of Madison….”
October 27, 2004
  • In “Madison’s newest praise team joins active ministry” (Madison Marcher):

    “The praise teams at Madison have been blessed … the Gold Team emerges as Madison’s newest praise team….”
November 17, 2004
  • The Madison Marcher declares “White Sock Sunday (a.k.a. ‘Sock It Away Campaign’) Success.” In addition to the “regular” contribution, the financial campaign contribution toward “Debt Retirement” was $304,664.67….
December 1, 2004
  • This month was highlighted by “Your Holiday Events” (Madison Marcher, 11.24.2004) with activities as: “Christmas of Hope” (12/2) benefiting the Morning Star Sanctuary; “Breakfast with Santa” (12/4, Sat.) in the Church Mall [$4 for adults, $2 for ages 3-11]; “A S’mores Christmas Party (12/4, Sat.)—“Parents Night Out—Kids Night of Fun”; “Singles’ Christmas Party” (12/2, Sat., 7-9 p.m., $15 per person at…)—‘Bring a wrapped Christmas ornament to play {Dirty Santa}’; “CHRISTMAS SINGING” (12/19, Sunday at 6 p.m., Bixler Chapel)—‘Start your holiday week with this inspiring service

    The new pulpit minister, Phil Barnes, addresses his affinity for Christmas: “‘Merry Christmas’ has been replaced with ‘Happy Holidays.’ … It’s so easy to walk right past the manger with our arms full of gifts, isn’t it? … But … the one God sent to all of us wrapped in cloth and lying in a manger … Jesus Christ is Born!” [on December 25]

    “What Is The Drama Ministry (cf. Madison Marcher, 12.1.2004). “The goal of the drama ministry is to give glory to God through the use of drama declaring, illustrating and clarifying Biblical truth [emph., d.c.]…” using I Corinthians 9:22 [becoming “all things to all men”]; I Peter 4:10-11 [“whatever gift”]; Eph. 6:19-20 [“make known the mystery of the gospel”].

    Sounds like misuse of the scriptures. The other “minister(s)” would have been closer to the truth had they quoted one of their own chief ministering change agents:
    • <font color=blue size=3 face=Times New Roman> “Drama works because we KNOW that it ISN'T TRUE. IF the word entertainment does mean to DIVERT one’s attention, to cause to be pleasurable, to cause to be interesting, then that is what we're here to do.”</font>
January 16, 2005
  • Beginning this Sunday and the following, Phil Barnes, as a strong advocate of the Community Church/Change Movement, delivers sermons such as: “Is This All There Is to It?”; “Shattering the Shackles”; “Remove the Chains”; etc. These are favorite agenda among change movers. See “Timeline, Part VIII” for details.
January 26, 2005
  • Beginning this issue of the Madison Marcher, Keith Lancaster, the Musical Worship Leader, writes a series of articles on musical worship: (1) “Worship: It’s All About You, God!” [Notice how he “personally” addresses our heavenly Father—a semblance of “Hey, Man!”]; (2) “Worship: Our Great Heritage of Singing” [What heritage?]; (3) “Worship: God-Centered Singing” [What about Worship-Leader-Praise-Team-Centered Holy Entertainment at the Worship Center?]. See “Timeline, Part VIII” for details.
February 16, 2005
  • The “INTERACTIVE EASTER WORSHIP DRAMA” all over again!!! “This year on Saturday, March 26th at 7 p.m. and again on Easter Sunday during our 10:30 a.m. worship service, we will be celebrating the Easter Story together in an interactive worship drama … attend these special times of worship … when we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper … no … Canaan’s Land … during the Easter Morning worship service.” [This was brought up in “Timeline, Part VIII” for discussion … but unfortunately diverted into other irrelevant topics.]
March 17, 2005
  • A review of an article, “Phil Barnes/Pulpit Minister,” in the Madison Marcher (Vol. 53, No. 39, Oct. 6, 2004) reveals the obvious path that the church leaders are treading. “The elders composed a list of 15 … matching … characteristics necessary [for] … that man … to carry Madison forward….” What qualifications? <font color=indigo>“… Sensitive to traditional/contemporary services … Relevant to today’s environment … Team oriented—gets along well with others … People person … Motivator/promoter [of change, d.c.]….”</font> One very keen observer noted the list as being “Bible-starved
March 27, 2005
  • The contemporary assembly at 10:30 a.m. was entertained with the performance of the “Interactive Easter Worship Drama,” but the 8:00 a.m. assembly was “deprived” of the Easter festival [thank you!!!] Note that some of the elders actually participated in the “Worship Drama.” Was “worship” interactive? There was virtually no congregational participation. All the intervening music during the drama was performed by the “worship leader” [in a “priestly” white robe] and his minstrels. However, the audience participated in the long applause at the conclusion of the worship drama.
April 10, 2005
  • There was the “combined worship service” at 10:00 on this “Madison Family Day.” The “worship leader,” and his Praise Team and handclappers were in their best behavior. The atmosphere was reverential; the Praise Team members had to hide their microphones; the other cheerleaders proved that the clapping hands have no vocal cords. Congregational singing was evident on this day.

    Well, unfortunately, all of that was only transient. On the Sunday following, of course, the “charismatic” behavior of some and the concert-like environment did quickly return. (Please read the article in Part IX titled “The Sunday I Was at the ‘Christian’ Rock Concert.”)
May 18, 2005
  • Announcement of “New Adult Sunday School Classes Beginning in June” including:
  • (a) HomeBuilders [popular among denominations] now called LifeBuilders with both men and women teachers [
    — …
    — Terry & Susie Ashley
    — Rob Wells and Leanne Shelby (female Youth Minister)
    — …
    — Madison’s Praise Team (male and female choir members)];
  • (b) Single Mothers Class; and
  • (c) Serving Singles.
June 1, 2005
  • Again, a repeat in 2005 of Rick Warren’s “church growth” scheme’s special feature—incorporating. Announcement—“NOTICE TO ALL MADISON CHURCH OF CHRIST MEMBERS: We will have our annual corporation meeting on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 at 6 p.m. in the Main Auditorium. Buck Dozier will be conducting the meeting”
June 8, 2005
  • Kay Nickell writes in “Remembering Dad” about Russ Kersten, elder, and his illness and death.
June 29 2005
  • In the preceding Timeline thread (#10), someone was asking about Keith Hall, the male “Youth Minister”—and Tory Tredway’s replacement. Many people have wondered to this day how and why Tory lost his job. [Hush, Tory wasn’t the singy-clappy charismatic kind of guy. Young … but he did not meet the “contemporary” standards.] There are a few posts in the thread about “Tory Tredway.” Check the Page 1 Index for this thread last-dated March 4, 2005.
August 10, 2005
  • “David Billingsley and Steve Smith … were ordained as Elders on August 7, 2005” [Marcher, 8.10.05]. “Marty Rothschild has been assigned to work with Steve as his mentoring Elder” [Marcher, 8.17.05].
August 17, 2005
  • In “To the Elders and Members of Madison Church of Christ,” Howard Henderson writes—“I indicated to the Elders at our Spring Rereat that upon the installation of any additional shepherds, I would be bowing out of this role.” [Marcher]
September 7, 2005
  • “Madison Welcomes New Lipscomb President, Randy Lowry”—“… will be preaching … on September 25th … founder of the nationally-recognized Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and was a professor of law at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.”
September 14, 2005
  • Phil Barnes writes re: the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts—“In consultation and agreement with the elders, I committed our congregation to provide a week of relief help for the Red Cross Shelter that is being established at Two Rivers Baptist Church.” [Marcher]
October 26, 2005
  • Preparing for the Christmas Drama—“A Christian Carol.” “As Phil announced … we will be doing a full-length Christmas play this year. The dates for the production will be December 17th and 18th (Saturday and Sunday) at 7:00 p.m. each night. The play is an adaptation of the Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol” which we are calling “A Christian Carol.” Why are we doing a Christmas drama? … Using drama, we can break down defenses and are often able to get people to come to a performance [emph. d.c.] who might be intimidated by a regular church service…. If it is God’s purpose to use this drama to reach the unchurched in our community, Satan will try to put obstacles in our path. … Once again, we ask that each of you be praying over this play….”
January 25, 2006
  • Financial Report of the Saints’ Collection (cf. Marcher)

    <font face=courier>Expenditures:
    --- Personnel Wages -------- 865,688,66
    --- ------ Benefits -------- 167,308.31
    --- ------ Counseling ------- 42,398.00
    --- ===================================
    --- Wages & Benefits ----- 1,075,394.97 = (36.51% of Receipts)
    --- Benevolence ------------ 124,191.07 = (04.22%)

    2006 Wish List: New Church Sign ----- 55,000.00
    --- Media: Video Projector ----------- 8,000.00
    --- --------- Time Base Corrector –--- 2,000.00
    --- --------- Projection Switcher --- 20,000.00
    --- --------- Pro Tools Software –--- 12,000.00</font>
March 26, 2006
  • Job Announcement—“… That growth has led us to a wonderful opportunity that your Shepherds are excited to share with you. It has been decided to add a new position to our Ministry Team, an Associate Minister of Community and Family Development. This crucial role will primarily deal with coordinating our volunteers in our many ministries, coordinating our efforts to assimilate new members, and coordinating our Small Group ministry. … As a family of believers, your Shepherds ask you to agree to pray for this decision and this process, and that God will send us the man He has already chosen.”
Is the above announcement of a job for “just the right man” [not “woman”—this has been verified ] one more indication of how an incorporated church operates and functions? It’s been about three months. Perhaps missed … please notify us if God has sent “the man He has already chosen.”
</font>
_______________________________________

Quoting Phil Sanders:
  • <font color=blue size=3 face=Times New Roman> “Entertainment settings should not be regarded as periods of worship. … There is no harm in clapping with appreciation for the entertainer, but clapping in worship seems to take the focus off of God and put it on the performer. To be caught up in the skill of a performer and to lose sight of God dilutes and cheapens worship. The rock star status accorded to some entertainers has little place next to the cross. In worship the focus must be on praising God, not the skills of men. Worship put on for show is clearly condemned in Scripture (Matt. 6:1-18; 23:5-12). … The recent blurrings of these distinctions [between entertainment and worship], coupled with the exposure to so many denominational worship services on television, services which feature professional performers, has created the confusion.” </font>
_______________________________________

<font size=3 face=times new roman>NOTE: Prior posts to this thread have been archived here. This is done to keep the loading time down and to ensure that all messages in the thread can be viewed. Thanks.
</font>
<font color=indigo face=arial>Here’s an important “reality” lesson to learn … from Jared in his response to an excellent article by John Waddey [posted on 06.20.06] titled:
  • “PROVIDING IMMUNITY TO FADS IN WORSHIP”
Please follow the link to John’s article and Jared’s response on October 17, 2006 here:</font>
  • <font size=3 color=indigo face=Times New Roman>Source: Motivated Change Agents Challenging Elders of the Church </font>


    <font size=3 color=black face=times new roman>I just wanted to state that I went to Madison C of C since I was born. I remember the day that I left and remembering seeing my grandmother mostly and the rest of my family cry. I know the devil caused this pain in my families lives. It hurts me to see the C of C have these problems. I just go and read the Bible to find the truth. I believe in the Bible and know that the Bible has not changed and will not change. I believe that clapping is a distraction to me and I read the Bible where it tells me "not to be a stumbling block" to others. I also read the Bible telling me that "worship is for Him", not for me. So saying "I feel good when I do ..." or "I think that the Bible says..." or that "I assume God wants it like...." are all the ways of the devil. Where the Bible is silent, so am I.

    I also believe (my opinion) that if people at Madison C of C would read and understand the Bibles teachings none of this would have ever happened. I don't go to "feel good" about me, I go to praise and worship the Lord, God Almighty who is worthy of my devotion to Him.

    I really hope and pray that all that cause the problems at Madison would change their ways back to God. I can only imagion what Ira North would tell people who caused this problem and even more scarier, what God would tell these same people.

    I, being of college age, know have been in false teaching by a campus minister and was able to tell thru God's word (the Bible) that this man was teaching me wrong. I find it more and more everyday that there are false teachers and misleadings of leaders.

    To me, this age that we live in is only getting worse or so it seems by my eyes. Not only is the goverment taking out God in lots of things, but have caused many more problems by doing this. Taking God out of schools seem to have cause: no respect for people of all ages, people not following rules, people looking for hope, joy, love, and peace in drugs and in other people, and so much more. Just to give an example, there in the state of Tennessee are people in gangs that drive with their lights off at night. Being a Christian and person wanting to help seeing cars with their lights off, makes me want to flash my lights on and off bright to tell them their lights are off. Though if I did do this, they would turn around try to run me off the road to kill me. What about sueing? People are sueing for hot coffee, name calling, and all other kinds of things. Makes you wonder how all this could happen so fast from just a couple of years before people didn't mind to pick up people needing rides, going to help people they saw in need, no locks on doors of cars, houses, or anythings to the world we live in today. I believe it's the word of God that keep people in a flow of trust in others, respect to others, kindness, joy, hope, love, and all the great things of God.

    I know I've talked about so many different things, and I hope you don't mind. I just feel (my own opinion) that people are not doing what God wants and only trying to please themselves, just like the King of England did. (made the New England Church, so that he could divorce his wife). People at Madison C of C seemed to want to do what made them "feel" closer to God, instead of reading in the Bible what God wanted and gave not only examples, but the Bible of telling us what He wanted.

    Well thanks for reading this if you did. I hope all that you read, you know that I speak not of what I think of but what God says. (when I talk about the church and the Bible) If it was my choice to pick and choose who went to heaven...I would want all people to come, but 1st off, I'm not God, 2nd it's a narrow way, and 3rd not all that say "Lord, Lord" are going to make it in. So I hope that thru this, people will read and study for themselves and not take what other people say to heart until they find it in the Bible to prove what someone said.

    In Him Always and Learning, Growing, and Loving Brother in Christ,

    Jared D.</font>
_____________________________
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

November 4th, 2006, 4:28 am #34

“And that should explain why you couldn’t find my answer to your question—“… where in scripture do you get the authorization to rebel against the elders of the church?”

No, the reason I can’t find your answer, is because IT’S NOT IN THERE! You don’t have authorization to rebel against your elders.


“—somehow I really question the validity of the expression “to rebel against the elders of the church.” If you can show me a scriptural reference to that expression, I will certainly thank you.”
1 Timothy 5:17
The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.
Hebrews 13:17
Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.
You can thank me now, or later.

[Donnie]: (1) “Worship Leader”—do a Google search on it;
[Roger]: (1) Since when is Google any kind of authority on anything? You call Keith Lancaster, and other worship leaders and elders insulting and disrespectful names on this website all the time.


[Donnie]: (2) … spreading the gospel of Christ to the lost is THE ministry;
[Roger]: (2) … then why don’t you? You attempt to discredit his ministry when you call him “The Worship Leader” with quotation marks, as if it’s not a real title. Not to mention the constant insults.


[Donnie]: … (3) no, not I, but God is the righteous Judge;
[Roger]: … (3) you seem convinced that their activities and decisions have condemned them to Hell, without bothering to allow God to make that decision. It’s called JUDGING. Google it.


[Donnie]: … (4) the “worship” guide, the Marcher, the Acappella newsletter, hopefully, do not lie;
[Roger]: … (4) no, but you do.

[Donnie]: … (5) I would not classify the Worship Leader’s arm-wagging task a few hours a week as a full-time ministry;
[Roger]: … (5) thus the display of your ignorance


[Donnie]: … (6) it’s worth repeating … that the musical staff’s salary is not warranted by the Holy Scripture and is a total waste of the saints’ contribution intended to help the needy—not company owners.
[Roger]: … (6) It actually IS warranted by the Holy Scripture, as much as many of the other not-mentioned specifics that you think are O.K. If your OPINION is that it is a waste of money, guess what? TOO BAD. You’re not an elder, thus you must live with it. If they are wrong, they will answer to God. It’s not your place to publicly post criticism of them on a website or anywhere else. To do so is rebellion, which is wrong. See above.


“You probably should not have left the church—which explains your derision of the “Restoration Movement.”

My derision of the Restoration Movement, comes from the fact that in over 100 years of effort, they are nowhere near looking anything like the first century church. They’re not even trying. It’s a facade. There is no true restoration movement, nor should there be. This isn’t the first century.


Till next time, Donnie.

Roger
<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>Roger,

I’m glad that you finally quoted scriptures.
  • I Timothy 5:17—“Let the elders <font size=4>that rule well</font> be counted worthy of double honour, especially they <font size=4>who labour in the word and doctrine</font>

    Hebrews 13:17—“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: <font size=4>for they watch for your souls</font>, as <font size=4>they that must give account</font>, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”
The underscored expressions should help you understand your own issue that you created yourself. I have/had NOTHING TO DO with the church upheaval that occurred in 2001—why so many brethren were alienated and left … why an announcement had to be made to the congregation: “Get over it; we must move on.” I had not even heard of this website until 2002.

Roger, you’re the one who rebelled against your elders to the point that YOU LEFT the church. [BTW, I know that part about you. So, you can’t hide the truth from the readers.] I wouldn’t be surprised if you even rebelled against your parents, your own family who, I should say, may still be members of the same church that I’m a member of.

Speaking of lies you accuse me of, you failed miserably in proving so.

But I’ll continue to prove or show evidences of events and activities from actual sources. Here’s something from a business-oriented, in-the-name-of-religion organization called “The Acappella Company” (acappella.org—November newsletter):
  • http://www.queenslandertours.com/qtt/keithcaribbean.htm (“Come cruising with Durant and Keith Lancaster July 30th-Aug. 4th [2007]. … Join Keith Lancaster on ‘Congregational Singers of the Caribbean’ by QUEENSLANDER TOURS. 5 Night Cruise | Tour Class: Comfortable | Tour Type: Hosted Luxury”)
  • “Keith Lancaster is scheduled to do a ‘hymns’ seminar with Dr. Jerry Rushford from Pepperdine at the Mid Atlantic Fellowship. The theme this year is ‘Hymns That Have Shaped Our Faith.’ [D.C.: Wow! Madison’s “contemporary” assembly needs this seminar very badly—and needs to stay away from the rah-rah-rah musical for a while.]
  • On sale … maybe: “Christmas Time Is Near—It’s hard to believe that Christmas is less than eight weeks away. Now is the time to start thinking about what Acappella product will help you get ready for the season….”
  • 12/3/2006: Lake Jackson, TX
    Venue: Convention Center | First Baptist—Brazoria
    Event Info: Christmas Dinner Concert Event
  • 12/8/2006: Fort Worth, TX
    Venue: McKinney Memorial Bible Church
    Event Info: McKinney Memorial Bible Church Christmas Event
  • 1/29—2/1/2007: Antigua, Guatemala
    Venue: Compassion | International Compassion
    Event Info: Compassion
  • 3/18/2007: Gulf Shores, AL
    Venue: Gulf Shores United Methodist
    Event Info: Concert
I think I have heard this before—A few Sundays ago, preacher Phil Barnes related that when asked if the [Madison] congregation had a choir (Donnie personally thinks that the reference was to the “Praise Team” … the newly discovered “Church of Christ Choir”), he responded that “Yes, we do have a ‘choir’ that is almost a 2,000-voice strong.”

I agree that with the microphones’ volume level measured in16 “jezebels” … that Keith’s “Praise Team” would sound like 2000 voices. Add the loud rhythmic clapping to that.

Donnie</font>
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

December 23rd, 2006, 12:08 am #35

<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>Nothing against contemporary songs that will someday become traditional hymns, but in the last couple of Sundays, the early assembly at 8 o’clock sang only 2 hymns vs. 5 quite-carefully-chosen contemporary praise songs on October 1; 4 hymns along with 4 quite carefully chosen praise songs from the “notebook” on October 8…. This is the methodology of incremental or smooth transitioning—the ultimate objective being that at some point, especially when the senior saints are no longer a pain or an obstruction, the transformation will have been successfully completed.

On the other hand, on one Sunday, the 10:15—11:45 a.m. “contemporary worship” guide listed 12 contemporary musical pieces—without a single hymn—these were from notebook #180, notebook #181, notebook #98, notebook #101, notebook #168, notebook #25, notebook #38, notebook #119, notebook #54, notebook #66, notebook #134, and notebook #179. Note that there was not a single hymn sung—isn’t that the trend that hymns are bound for extinction at Madison? Thanks to Madison’s full-time professional “ministry” staff—the “Worship Leader.”

On Sunday following, the “contemporary worship” guide listed 10 all-contemporary musical pieces—again, without a singly hymn—these were from notebook #160, notebook #32, notebook #202, notebook #153, notebook #110, notebook #100, notebook 187, notebook #170, notebook #26, and notebook #106. Note that there was not a single hymn sung—isn’t that the trend … that hymns are bound for extinction at Madison? Thanks to Madison’s full-time professional “ministry” staff—the “Worship Leader.” The list of praise songs and choruses was shorter this time due to the “World Christian Broadcasting” presentation. But I must let you know that two notable “praise” songs were:

<ol>[*]“Clap Your Hands”—an action song, of course. “Clap your hands [clap-clap] all ye people, shout to God [clap-clap-clap] with a voice of triumph. Clap your hands [clap-clap-clap] ….”

[*]“I Was Made for This”—guess what? “Oh, I was made for this: to know Your tender kiss, to know a love divine, to know this love is mine, and I was made to laugh… My feet were made to dance … You give me more and more, for I was made for You… When I was far away, You ran to welcome me. I felt Your warm embrace… Oh, I as made for this. I was made to love You Jesus. I was made for this….”

[/list]Lest I forget, I must tell you that the congregation has several men who are capable of leading singing, and it could very well save the saints’ financial contribution. The church can properly and wisely use the money for scriptural purposes and reasons—instead of paying a full-time professional musician, who already has a flourishing “Christian” music business [IOW, “in the name of religion”] of his own.

I wish I had the answer to the following question(s): Since Kevin Dunnebacke and Mark Spears—very talented as well—led singing on separate Sundays in the absence of the “Worship Leader,” were they paid for their services also? If not, why not? If so, did Keith Lancaster refuse payment for those two weeks [of “arm wagging”] he didn’t do when he was absent and gone, perhaps, to get paid for his tours and concerts?

BTW, the Acappella News has recently listed the following events:
  • 10/7/2006: Cuyahoga Falls, OH
    Venue: First United Methodist Church
    245 Portage Trail … Time: 7:00:00 PM … Contact Info: …
  • 10/21/2006: Phoenix, AZ
    Venue: Church of the Nations
    11640 N. 19th Avenue … Time: 7:00:00 PM
    Event Info: Phoenix Rescue Mission Benefit Concert … Contact Info: …
I may be doing some advertising here … or investigating? Anyway, it is not a secret—visit the Worship Leader’s http://www.acappella.org/.

“The Acappella Company Moves — After 24 years, Acappella’s home base of operations has moved from Paris to Nashville, Tennessee, providing many new opportunities for the guys. Having the group and the studio closer to their producer, Keith Lancaster has allowed for more creative time in the studio between the producer and the group.”

It looks like the staff infection is spreading—not the gospel of Christ.

Donnie</font>
<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>I have recently received an e-mail a portion of which stated:
  • “With approval from the elders at this [my former] congregation, they now have worship leaders equipped with their mics. The more I read the Madison thread the more I realized this church had been taken over.”
This past Sunday, I was in the contemporary assembly, with the usual expectations. It was evident that musical worship, an unknown entity in the assembly of the saints in the first century, was the pervasive atmosphere. Throughout the “worship” hour-and-a-half, reverential offering of glory and honor—the least amount of time dedicated to devotion—had to be part of the musical worship. It had to be! After all, even if it amounted to only 20 or 30 percent of the entire “let us worship the Father,” no one could fairly say that the entire period was devoid of solemnity.

I think that, with the exception of the Communion, I was in the “Assembly of God” [Charismatic] gathering or in some made-for-TV TBN program. The constant rhythmic clapping by a few peace-disturbing-distracting participants; applause after a successful rendering of a contemporary “praise” chorus by the “Worship Leader’s” elite “Praise Team”; the visible body swinging-and-swaying to the music activity by some—all these were not to not capture the attention of others present for the purpose of expressing reverence to our Father in heaven. I think I heard some unintelligible sounds emanating from the elite singers’ vocal cords/chords. Do you think they were spontaneously excited? Or, did they follow the musical instructions to make this strange howling sound [just as the sheet music may indicate in what measure to do the rhythmic “clap-clap” or “clap-clap-clap”]? I’m not sure I know exactly how to describe the strange sound/noise. It sounded like Minnie Pearl’s “How-Dee-e-e-e-e?!?” or it may have emanated from the bulls’ urges in a rodeo—or something like that! But I took it in opposition to what the Scripture says about speaking, teaching and admonishing one another—which require intelligible words—and letting the “words of Christ dwell in us richly.”

Believe me, the “Worship Leader” and some leaders of the congregation encourage these things by example. Right there in front of the congregation! It is so easy for some of them to literally “lift my hands to the Father” [watch it … these words are in the song … oh, my], but so difficult to “bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Yeah, right, just go with the flow, eh.

One obvious change of direction—and I commiserate with the “preacher” whose “role” or influence has been greatly diminished and subordinated to that of the new, unauthorized “church staff” position of “Worship Leader.” The “worship leader” is now in control. Shame … shame … shame!!! It is NO LONGER the much-anticipated feature in the gathering of the saints—the reading and study of God’s word, along with the observance of the Lord’s Supper to commemorate the Lord’s suffering and death of the cross. Even the Communion is now marred by the constant injection of misguided concepts by associating it with some evening fellowship meal [to feed the belly].

Congregational singing to the best of the members’ abilities is now replaced with the Praise Team’s excellent musical performances. Their handheld microphones that measure in high “Jezebels” prove my point that to the performers, God is more pleased with the overpowering vocalizations [both intelligible and unintelligible (“how-dee”)] from the “Worship Leader’s” elite singers.

How is the “Worship Leader” or the church leaders reacting to Richland Hills’ leaders’ decision to go “instrumental”? I know Mr. Keith Lancaster has written “a cappella” all over his face—at least that’s the thrust of his own [other] business or organization. No, instrumental music, I think, is not in the horizon at Madison—from all indications. Why should Mr. Lancaster risk his “popularity” by employing instrumental music in the assembly? That would seem to go against the “idolatry of musical talent”—voices being drowned out by the “Christian Rock” band.

Donnie</font>
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

December 26th, 2006, 10:54 pm #36

<font size=3 face=times new roman>February 2001

Most Madison Church of Christ members were oblivious to this article, “More Holyroller Influence at Madison” in the February "Plumbline Newsletter" which quotes the "Madison Marcher.”
  • The third worship service at Madison is to be held at the same time as the 10:30 a.m. worship. The "atmosphere will be more conducive to non-Christians. Many “unchurched” people are intimidated by a more formal atmosphere...." The worship affair will be an effort "...to make it easier for people with no church background to feel comfortable.... More time will be given to singing and communion... The sermons will not be as long as what we are used to. There is no question that God is working among our church family. He recognized our suppressed capacity to love…. Attendance for this first Sunday was 538 souls." Jim Hinkle said, "We will not be still, we will not be quiet."
February 2001

The elders announced that a "Third Contemporary" service that they had previously formed was going to be melted into the 10:00 a.m. or second service.
  • This announcement established a "contemporary service" at 10:00 AM and the 8:00 AM service remained unchanged. While making this announcement, Elder Buck Dozier said the Fire Marshal’s office had said there were too many people in the third service for the size of the auditorium. Since Buck is the past Fire Chief, one has to wonder if this was just a staged excuse to proceed with what was already planned.
February 25, 2001

Tom Haddon is instructing his "Homebuilders" class on how to transition the church members over to the ways of the Saddleback Community Church and that of "Holy Entertainment." He talks about the well laid plans that only a few know about. See the transcript of February 25th class.

March 2001

Praise teams, hand clapping, and raised hands during prayer have been introduced at the second service. Children’s Sunday school has been changed from Bible-based to more entertainment and singing. Young women teaching Sunday school to baptized young men.

April 13, 2001

The elders respond to a NewsChannel5 report about growing controversy at the Madison Church of Christ. They send out a LETTER to 683 Churches of Christ in the Channel 5 viewing area.
  • "The controversy seems to be over-reaction to change. The main things we have done in the 10:30 service are introduce more upbeat praise songs, give less time to the sermon, and give greater emphasis to the Lord's Supper. This embraces a more contemporary format, of course, but we don't feel that it departs from scriptural worship."

    See ConcernedMembers’ Letter to the Elders of 683 Churches of Christ.
April 22, 2001

In this meeting on April 22, 2001 the deacons ask the elders, “What is going on?” On May 02,2001 the Elders reply in a letter. Here Are the Questions and the Elders’ Answers

May 2001

Concerned members receive a copy of a rough draft of a "Covenant of Membership" that was supposedly written by Elder Buck Dozier. Mr. Dozier admitted "playing" around with one when contacted.
  • The concern about a "Covenant of Membership" is that it's one of the hallmark signs of a "Community Church" like Saddleback. They are generally written in such a way to assure that the membership can't take over the "community church" like they took over your church.
July 2001

According to THIS ARTICLE in the Tennessean, the elders bring in a mediator (Larry Sullivan) to help with the split within the church. We understand that Buck Dozier met Mr. Sullivan while attending a "seminar." Meetings are set up for the elders—we understand they had to swear to secrecy. Meetings are set up for the members to discuss their objections to the split contemporary and traditional services.

It's later shown by the ConcernedMembers that LARRY SULLIVAN is not an unbiased mediator. He has direct ties to the Saddleback organization. He is trained in using the HEGELIAN DIALECTIC techniques to compromise a groups consensus in whatever direction is predetermined.

Mid-August, 2001

By this time many members have left the Church. The unpaid volunteer minister on this particular Sunday abruptly left before giving his sermon at the second service. He was allowed only the last 6 minutes of worship time by the “worship leader.” Sometime during this period, Buck Dozier appeared in Bill Ruhl's adult class to take over. Bill Ruhl's absence was unexplained to the class.

August 29, 2001

Concerned members send out 2500 ballots and a LETTER asking for church members to indicate on the ballot the type of church service format they wanted. All ballots were to be received by September 20, 2001. Threatening phone calls are received by the contractor hired by ConcernedMembers to do the mailing (August 30, 2001). Other notes not full of brotherly love are received by mail. Ballots from ConcernedMembers mailing are tabulated, and totals posted along with a FINAL REPORT (September 15, 2001)

September 23, 2001

The members have been waiting on an announcement from the elders regarding the future format of services at the Madison Church of Christ. Today (09-23-01) that announcement was made.
  • EVERYTHING WILL REMAIN AS IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
September 30, 2001 (Sunday)

Larry Sullivan was Guest Speaker! (The Unbiased Mediator)

October 11, 2001 (Thursday)

Deacons had a special meeting with an attendance of over 100 concerned members and deacons. Petitions were given out to collect signatures—to dismiss “the elders that have split the Madison Church of Christ.” Petitions are due to be turned in by Wednesday the 17th.

October 14, 2001 (Sunday)

Frank Scott delivered his first in a series of talking head animated and canned sermons. Sometime during this period, two elders resigned—J.D. Elliott and Bobby McElhiney.

October 17, 2001 (Wednesday)

A member reported that Wednesday night when she inquired at the help desk as to where she should turn in her petitions, she was told by the lady: "Over there with the trouble makers … they are the mafia." Sometime during this period two more elders talked about resigning! No confirmation of that as of today.

October 21, 2001 (Sunday)

Sermon—Second in a three-part series of Frank Scott being a talking head for a canned and animated sermon on joy and entertainment. The words "corporate worship" and joy and entertainment were used extensively. Interesting!

Deacons—The deacons, headed by Ben Jones, nicely and in a very godly way asked the leaders to step down and let the church elect new leadership. (Complete transcript is available.)

October 24, 2001 (Wednesday)

”Elders and Deacons” meeting tonight! We understand that the 7 or 8 elders that have caused a split at Madison Church of Christ have been formally asked to step down or be disfellowshipped.

October 25, 2001 (Thursday)

”Saddleback Planters” meeting tonight! Talked about rebuking Ben Jones Sunday!
  • To rebuke is to criticize or reprove sharply; to reprimand.
    To reprove is to criticize for a fault or misdeed; to scold.
    To rebuke or reprove Ben Jones, then, Ben Jones must have done a misdeed.
    To define that misdeed, those who will rebuke him must find applicable scriptures.
What Ben did was to give each and every Madison Church of Christ member an opportunity to ask for forgiveness or repentance for causing division or for allowing division to occur.

October 26, 2001 (Friday)
  • Flash message coming in the next 72 hours from the ConcernedMembers!
October 28, 2001 (Sunday)

T H E...M A D I S O N...C H U R C H...O F...C H R I S T...H A S...B E E N...H I J A C K E D ! !

Today, according to an announcement made by everyone's favorite elder, Russ Kersten, the church has been hijacked by all the concerned members, deacons and I guess that includes the 5 elders that have been holding out against them. … Is “hijack” a chargeable offense in the church?

October 29, 2001 (Monday)

We received a copy of a letter sent to the deacons. And we felt compelled to reply. ConcernedMembers announced future plans (10/30/01). The server for this web page has recorded 22,645 page views since its creation 8 weeks ago (11/1/01).

November 2, 2001

Transcript of Homebuilders Sunday School class—a recording of Tom Haddon on how to transition the congregation to Saddleback and Holy Entertainment in Homebuilders Class (available under Interviews & Transcripts).

November 4, 2001

J.R. Compton and wife, members at Madison Church of Christ for 58 years, came before congregation to ask for forgiveness and ask to have their names removed as members.

November 7, 2001

Interview with Gary McDade of the Getwell Church of Christ in Memphis, TN. Discussion concerning the takeover of churches by the "Community Church" movement and the embracement of this movement by many of the Christian colleges.

November 9, 2001

Two different sources say Bruce White has been hired as a new minister.

November 20, 2001

ConcernedMembers retract a letter sent by the elders to 683 churches of Christ.

November 21, 2001

Email from J.E. Choate—“And also another personal evaluation is that Buck Dozier should be the first to leave the Madison eldership. His qualifications for the work is moot at best. His past shows that he is no stranger to igniting church fires with no solutions."

November 28, 2001 December 02, 2001

Bruce White appears to have been warmly welcomed as new minister at the Madison Church of Christ. First sermon was about the degrees of love. It appears that the “Praise Team” and their microphones have been turned off in the second service for the time being.

December 18, 2001

Fundraising letter sent out by the Church. Student ministry letter to former members (12/19/01).

January 20, 2002 (Sunday)

Rumor says there is a new group forming called "The PeaceMakers." Their training is probably coming from PEPPERDINE.

January 21, 2002 (Monday)

Letter sent by Donnie Cruz to the elders and other people about the crisis at Madison. The Christian Chronicle publishes article about Madison Church of Christ (01/21/02).

February 4, 2002 (Monday)

We understand that Buck has presented the members of “The Peacemakers" with a list of 192 reasons churches split. We wonder if pagan worship practices were on the list?

February 6, 2002 (Wednesday)

Big flare-up at church Wednesday night. We understand 4 or 5 of the good and godly elders have resigned, leaving the church under the control of the clapper and Saddleback crowd.

February 9, 2002 (Saturday)

After the resignation of two elders last year, Madison Church of Christ was left with 13 elders: Bill Bennett, Dale Bishop, John Broadway, Joe Corley, Buck Dozier, Chris Gingles, Howard Henderson, Tommy Hoppes, Russ Kersten, Charles Link, Ken Rice, Norman Slate, Ray Wilson. Five of these elders had been opposed to the "praise teams" and clapping which had permeated the second service since last February 2001. This was when Elder Buck Dozier first announced the decision to turn the new third service loose on the second service. The five elders that were opposed we believe were: Joe Corley, Bill Bennett, Dale Bishop, Norman Slate, and Charles Link.

It's understood Tom Haddon and about 200 of his followers threatened to leave sometime ago when the praise teams were stopped. It's understood that Chris Gingles encouraged them to stay and fight it out. Recently the Haddon followers put the push back on to bring back the praise teams, through the elders they control. It's understood that the elders had become rather hostile toward each other, and when this push came again, then 4 of the 5 elders resigned. Charles Link was out of town, and it is assumed he will resign when he returns.

Quote as told to Bobby M. Johnson by one of the elders: "... told me that there had been a recent meeting of the 10:30 AM crowd including Chris Gingles’ and Tom Haddon's followers and they said they would never leave. So that with the push to return to the praise teams and the microphones was the “last straw."

The 5 elders had already decided to resign if the “winds of change” didn't subside. So that's that! 3 of these elders also announced that they would probably be attending church at other locations sometime in the future. [No one here blames them, and we can only try to imagine the pain they have been put through. We are sure that like many of us they were unable to continue to worship in that building.]
  • HAS GOD LEFT THE BUILDING?

    ConcernedMembers announce statewide newspaper advertising campaign
February 10, 2002 (Sunday)
  • Sunday Services reviewed by Donnie Cruz [see earlier “Timeline”]
February 11, 2002 (Monday)

We at ConcernedMembers have been told that when the 4 elders resigned, that they were assured that their letter would be read to the congregation. Well, as you are probably aware ... not only did their letter not get read, there was also no mention of their resignation, other than a little blip in the Marcher. We have been promised a copy of this letter, and we intend to post it on the web as soon as we get it up.
  • The Elders’ Resignation Letter Is Here [see earlier “Timeline”]
February 2-17, 2002
  • Announcement by the Elders [see earlier “Timeline”]
March 1, 2002

The Trap Has Been Set at the Madison Church of Christ [see earlier “Timeline”]

In the February 20, 2002 Madison Marcher, statement made by the elders February 17, 2002:
  • 4. "We believe that there can be unity in diversity and will continue to employ two styles of worship services."
March 10, 2002 (Sunday)

Screen presentation of the elders [6 have already resigned] and their length of service helps Donnie Cruz to figure it out:
  • <font face=courier>(1) John Broadway ...... since 1998
    (2) Buck Dozier ........ since 1996
    (3) Chris Gingles ...... since 1998
    (4) Howard Henderson ... since 1999
    (5) Tommy Hoppes ....... since 1999
    (6) Russ Kersten ....... since 1992
    (7) Charles Link ....... since 1978
    (8) Ken Rice ........... since 1989
    (9) Ray Wilson ......... since 1992</font>

    (Most of the Remaining Elders Are ... That Explains It! [see earlier “Timeline”])
March 24, 2002 (Sunday)

Charismatic Contemporary Style Continues: March 24, 2002 [see earlier “Timeline”]
  • I don’t believe it is all right to be singing “It’s All Right” when the church is not united in spirit because of what this worship facilitation program has done to begin with. It is NOT ALL RIGHT when the body of Christ is suffering….
March 31, 2002
  • SUNDAY SERVICES—“Easter"

    Notes from the “Madison Marcher” (Wednesday, March 27, 2002):

    Bruce White: “We are going to have a great day next Sunday. It is Easter, and we [are] looking for a large crowd. I especially want to see the children in the colorful clothes.” Of the “Great Day in May” (May 5): “… will have a big lunch under the tent at 12:00. One of our choruses will entertain at 1:30.”
May 19-26, 2002; June 2, 2002
  • Changes Continue At Madison [see earlier Timeline]

    (1) the present deacons will be interviewed by the elders and new deacons will be named; (2) there will be additional elders to be selected; (3), the "love feast" -- and it's only "fitting" -- is to follow the Lord's Supper; (4) Canaan's Land is moving; (5) the "praise team" will be reinstated in the early part of July.
June 23, 2002 (Sunday)
  • ELDER CHARLES LINK RESIGNS, and more!
August 1, 2002
  • Is There a Tithing Pledge in Madison's Future? Donnie Cruz reports, there could be!
September 1, 2002 (Sunday)
  • Small Groups, Living Stones, or Prayer Circles?
October 27, 2002
  • TITHING NT Christians for Services of the OT Levitical Priests

    We are continuing to monitor the progress of the tithing campaign at Madison as taught by Dr. White, based on the tithing manual (“Take God at His Word”) written by Dr. Kregg Hood. Is the truth about tithing (equals 10%) continuing to be perverted as a CARRY-OVER and as a PERPETUAL command from the Old Testament for New Testament Christians? Since Dr. White proclaimed his message in August 2002 that we TITHE to TEST God and to let Him give the increase, we will be referring to the following amounts collected as being “TITHED”:

    <font face=courier>==================================================================
    Church Budget ----------------- 47,143 (2001) ---- 38,000 (2002)
    Children’s Home ---------------- 5,400 (2001) ----- 4,021 (2002)
    Amazing Grace/CPI -------------- 3,000 (2001) ----- 1,539 (2002)
    ==================================================================
    TOTAL BUDGET---- -------------- 55,543 (2001) ---- 43,560 (2002)
    ==================================================================
    ------------- (Sermons on “TITHING” in August 2002) ------------</font>
November 7, 2002
  • Transcription of Bruce White's Sermon on Tithing [see earlier Timeline]

    VOTE:
    Would you be willing to sign a Tithing Pledge?
    Would you be willing to sign a Church Oath or Covenant?
January 5, 2003 (Sunday)

DRAMA MINISTRY KICKOFF JANUARY 19 (by Kelley Hughes, Madison Marcher)
  • Drama is nothing new at Madison Church of Christ. From the Summer Spectaculars to Canaan’s Land … we have a long and great tradition of using drama to touch the lives of our members and visitors…. So Jesus himself used A TYPE OF THEATRE to help get his point across…. You may know of someone who is “UNCHURCHED” … The Drama Ministry kickoff meeting will be on January 19 at 5 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.
April 13, 2003 (Sunday)

EASTER SUNDAY IN “CANAAN’S LAND” (Madison Marcher: April 9, 2003)
  • Easter Sunday is very special to all of us. For the last ten years in Canaan’s Land, we’ve used our time together on that Sunday to reenact the last week in the life of Jesus…. Responsibilities will range from … to dressing kids to assisting at the various story “sets” (e.g., HELPING SERVE CHILDREN BREAD AND GRAPE JUICE DURING THE LAST SUPPER [emphasis, d.c.]). All of us will celebrate Communion together as we reenact the LORD sharing it with His apostles and telling them its meaning.
(On May 19, 2003, Chris: “I received a copy of the CD that has the worship service from "Easter" on it. It was given to me by a member of the production crew there. … Was there any preaching? Or just reading?” Jeremy responded: “I do agree with what has been said about the Easter service. It definitely was a show. And most of the people I've talked to about that service say the same thing….”

May 12, 2003 (Monday)

Madison Church of Christ, Incorporated: ONE YEAR LATER
  • Annual Membership Meeting (Madison Marcher, Vol. 52, No. 19, May 7, 2003):

    Because Madison Church of Christ is now incorporated, we are required to have an annual membership meeting. This meeting will be on Wednesday, June 4, 2003, at 6 p.m. in the Auditorium for the transaction of such business as may come before the meeting.
June 4, 2003

Madison Marcher (6/4/03) announces: “Broadway Resigns From Eldership.” Ken Rice, May Chairman of the Eldership, said, “It is with great regret that we have received the resignation of John Broadway. Here is his statement:”
  • After much prayer and deliberation over the past several weeks, I have decided to submit my resignation from the eldership of the Madison Church of Christ….
June 19, 2003

A comparative analysis of statistics from the 2003 publication of “Churches of Christ in the United States,” compiled by Mac Lynn. The counts, based on the reported numbers in 2002, consist of: (1) membership [assumedly “baptized” believers], (2) average worship attendance, (3) adherents [including children?]. Please notice MCC’s staggering data.
  • <font face=courier>---------------------------------------- Members/Attendance/Adherents
    Goodlettsville Church of Christ ---------- 490 ----- 685 ----- 770
    Hendersonville Church of Christ --------- 1557 ---- 1323 ---- 2105
    Woodmont Hills Church of Christ(*)------- 1660 ---- 2300 ---- 2500
    Madison Church of Christ ---------------- 3142 ---- 1786 ---- 4730
    Richland Hills Church of Christ, TX ----- 4450 ---- 3700 ---- 5240

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    (*) Not listed as “Woodmont Hills Family of God” in the directory
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~</font>
July 23, 2003

Madison Marcher: “We are expanding the leadership of this great church.
  • Terry Ashley,
    Mark Street,
    Phil Coats
are being added to the eldership today. We are so pleased to see this number grow and expect to be able to service more effectively with these men in place.”

August 6, 2003

Madison Marcher: “The Madison Church of Christ has always had a heart for children and will continue to respond to, assist, and nurture children. We have our camp, youth activities, classes, and other programs for children … Morning Star Sanctuary…. So, we need to support all of these activities through our Sunday School Contribution. The Childcare program … however, will be closed. The State of Tennessee Children’s Services has altered the approach to childcare….”

August 13, 2003

Madison Marcher: “The shepherds are planning a new vision for Madison. They will be listening for awhile and then formulating what the Spirit leads them to envision for this church. Your prayers are earnestly solicited.”

September 3, 2003
  • Madison Marcher: “We want to encourage both 8:00 and 10:30 services. You will see the designation “traditional” and “contemporary” on our sign and in publication to inform the community of a choice. We hope that both times will see increase in attendance and involvement.” . . . “CALLING ALL SINGERS! The Worship and Music ministry is looking for additional singers. We are especially in need of male singers….” [also appeared in the next 2 weeks].
September 17, 2003
  • Madison Marcher: “Check your Saturday newspaper and find our new advertisement! . . . ||EVERY SUNDAY||--||Traditional Worship 8:00 am||--||Sunday School 9:30 am||--||Contemporary Worship 10:30 am||--||Evening Worship 6:00 pm|| . . . ||Pulpit Minister, Dr. C. Bruce White||--||Worship Minister, Keith Lancaster||”
September 28, 2003

The message on this Sunday was “Worthy of Double Honor.” It had been announced: “We are planning a very special day on September 28. We will be honoring our shepherds that day.” Former elders (J.D. Elliott, Bobby McElhiney, Charles Link, etc., with their wives) were honored first; current elders, with their wives, were also honored.

October 8, 2003
  • Madison Marcher: “Please pray for our shepherds. These men are going through some very trying meetings right now. The future of this congregation is weighing heavy on their hearts as they seek the Spirit’s guidance. They need your support and encouragement.”
December 15, 2003
  • A special e-mail has been received: “<font color=indigo>… I am troubled by the innovations, because they seem mostly to lean toward entertainment and behavior that I grew up associating with Pentecostal orgiastic ‘worship services.’ I quit going to Tulsa due to this. ...” </font>
December 17, 2003
  • Madison Marcher: “Keith Lancaster will be taking a sabbatical from Madison for the next several months to spend more time with Acappella. We wish him well and look forward to his return!”
February 4, 2004

Madison Marcher: “A WORD FROM THE SHEPHERDS”
  • Shepherds’ Vision 2004: The shepherds have spent the last several months focusing on prayer and preparation of a course for the church family at Madison. … We will maintain a traditional worship style in our 8:00 service on Sunday morning and a contemporary style of worship at 10:30. We are interested in accommodating a worship style which connects the worshipper with the Creator … The elders have implemented a functional change in their roles as shepherds. An Elders Administrative Committee composed of … and Buck Dozier, in conjunction with the Business Manager, will handle day-to-day administrative details. The remaining elders will give their “attention to prayer and the ministry of the Word.” The goal of the elders is to “smell like sheep.” … The Deacons Administrative Committee….

    We will be searching for a pulpit minister, as Dr. White enters partial retirement. He will continue to work on staff in other ministries. We look for a long relationship with him and Judy.

    We will be looking for anew youth minister to lead our program of developing our young people into leaders for tomorrow.
February 18, 2004

“A Little Flavor of Rick Warren’s Saddleback Community Church-ism”—the following was advertised in the Madison Marcher:
  • 27th Ladies Renewal (April 16th-17th, 2004) in Cadiz, KY—

    Come share the Love of Our Lord and your sisters in Christ.
    ”The Purpose Driven Life”
    We will use the book by Rick Warren as we study God’s Word
March 10, 2004
  • Interactive EASTER drama worship—Dr. White announces change in schedule: The drama presentation on “Easter Sunday” will no longer be an event in the “traditional” worship—it will be performed only during the “contemporary” worship.
March 23, 2004
  • Announcement on the Church Sign: <font color=blue>WORSHIP WITH US EASTER APRIL 11, 8 & 10:30 A.M. … EASTER PASSION WORSHIP DRAMA AT 10:30 A.M. </font>
  • Easter Worship Drama (Madison Marcher, March 17, 2004). “ . . . <font color=indigo>Easter Sunday [emphasis here and elsewhere, dc] is always a special time at Madison—but this year, April 11th is going to be unlike any worship experience we’ve ever shared together. During our 10:30 service [wonder why not at 8:00 am, dc], the story of Christ’s last hours—culminating in His Crucifixion and Resurrection—will be presented in the form of an interactive worship drama.

    Everyone is encouraged to attend this special time of worship
    </font>
April 5, 2004
  • FRONT PAGE re “EASTER SUNDAY PASSION DRAMA”: (MADISON MARCHER, March 31, 2004). “ . . . <font color=indigo>Experience much of the excitement next week as our Easter Sunday Passion Drama plays out at the 10:30 service [wonder why not at 8:00 am, dc] . . . We’ll join Jesus and His apostles in the upper room where we, as a congregation, will celebrate the Lord’s Supper. … This promises to be a very moving, powerful retelling of the Easter Story….”

    Calendar: April 11 (Sunday—Easter) … Easter Worship Drama … 10:30 a.m.— ”The story of Christ’s last hours culminating in His Crucifixion and Resurrection will be presented in the form of an interactive worship drama.
    </font>
April 12, 2004

Jim Morris, who began serving as an elder at the same time with Pat Burch and Marty Rothschild in September, 2002, made the following announcement in the Madison Marcher (Vol. 53, No. 13, April 7, 2004), “Statement to Madison Church:” This is not the time for me to serve this body as an elder.

The Preacher Potpourri column in the Madison Marcher has announced the following (4.21.04): “We are adding more elders. We want you to submit names to help in the process. Think through your selections, write his name or names on a piece of paper, and share it with one of our shepherds.”

June 9, 2004
  • Russ Kersten retires from eldership (Madison Marcher reports).
June 16, 2004
  • Ray Wilson retires from eldership (Madison Marcher reports).

    There were 15 elders at the end of September 2001—10 of whom have resigned since. Is this report . . . troubling?
    <font face=courier>
    J.D. Elliott ----------- resigned 10/2001
    Bobby McElhiney -------- resigned 10/2001
    Joe Corley ------------- resigned 02/2002
    Bill Bennett ----------- resigned 02/2002
    Dale Bishop ------------ resigned 02/2002
    Norman Slate ----------- resigned 02/2002
    Charles Link ----------- resigned 06/2002 (… served since 1978)
    John Broadway ---------- resigned 06/2003 (… served since 1998)
    Ray Wilson ------------- resigned 06/2004 (… served since 1992)
    Russ Kersten ----------- resigned 06/2004 (… served since 1992)

    Ken Rice --------------- has served since ---1989
    Buck Dozier ------------ has served since ---1996
    Chris Gingles ---------- has served since ---1998
    Howard Henderson ------- has served since ---1999
    Tommy Hoppes ----------- has served since ---1999

    Jim Morris ------------- resigned 04/2004 (… served since 09/2002)
    Pat Burch -------------- has served since 09/2002
    Marty Rothschild ------- has served since 09/2002
    Terry Ashley ----------- has served since 07/2003
    Phil Coats ------------- has served since 07/2003
    Mark Street ------------ has served since 07/2003</font>
July 7, 2004
  • “From the Madison Search Committee” (Madison Marcher)

    “Several months ago … two groups appointed by the elders began praying and working toward the goals of hiring new pulpit and youth ministers. [Both committees included an elder liaison, other men as well as women in each.] … Pray that God … will make His will obvious, and that He will bless Tory’s efforts as he seeks out new opportunities [really?]. …

    “As announced, our new pulpit minister (once hired) will enjoy a period of transition with Bruce and be fully in place by the end of the year. Our new youth minister will join our existing ministry team and assume Tory’s responsibilities—also by year end.” [cf. thread on Tory Tredway]
July 14, 2004
  • Madison Marcher’s special report that “Keith Lancaster returns from sabbatical

    “The Madison family would like to welcome back Keith Lancaster as worship leader. Keith has been on sabbatical, producing two new albums for The Acappella Company. … In addition to working on the new albums, Keith attended the Pepperdine Lectureship in California and led worship at events in Texas…. ‘It is so great to be back with everyone at Madison,’ Keith said. ‘I really missed leading worship here.’

    “Keith will teach a number of new songs in the upcoming weeks, primarily in Homebuilders class on Sunday mornings and Prayer & Praise class on Wednesday nights.

    “Madison is very fortunate to have men who are able to lead worship and not just lead songs. …Lipscomb University now offers a worship ministry major, showing the growth of this trend among Churches of Christ
August 11, 2004
  • In “Devoted: Come to the Table” (Madison Marcher, August 11, 2004), it is explained that the “last quarter of 2004 will be devoted to communion and table fellowship” … “each family is encouraged to purchase a copy of Come to the Table, by John Mark Hicks….”

    In “Come to the Table” (by Dawn Ferguson) …
    • Beginning September 26, Haddon will be sharing the premises behind Hicks’ book with his class as other teachers are also doing throughout the church. To help with the “revisioning” of the Lord’s Supper, … “Janelle is painting two images for the class that will be before us the entire six weeks we’ll be discussing communion,” said Haddon. “One will be the table. The other will be the altar. She’ll be depicting the things we think of when we think of altar – sacrifice, blood, etc. For the table, she’ll be painting Adam and Eve in the garden in the presence of God – before sin separated them from God.”

      Haddon has asked Wells to paint during each class. “Kathy and I are still discussing and praying about what that painting will be,” said Haddon. “Hopefully, it will bring about the overall sense of hope and joy that Hicks believes is symbolized by the table of fellowship.” “… The living host is present at the table eating and drinking with his disciples. … The table on that first Easter, on that first Sunday, was a table of joy and celebration. There was no solemnity, sadness or burdened hearts.” ( Come to the Table, pg. 87)
    [“Come to the Table” (“Revisioning” the Lord’s Supper) authored by John Mark Hicks is taught at Madison.]
August 18, 2004
  • “Madison Has Two New Elders” (Madison Marcher). See the June 16, 2004 list, plus:

    <font face=courier>John Hagan ------------- appointed August 2004
    Jim Wilson ------------- appointed August 2004 </font>
October 6, 2004
  • In “Phil Barnes/Pulpit MinisterFrom the Elders (Madison Marcher):

    “Before his start date of November 1 [2004] , we would like to share some of our thoughts regarding Phil [Barnes]. … Phil Barnes is that man. We believe he is a God-lead choice whose strengths closely match the needs of Madison….”
October 27, 2004
  • In “Madison’s newest praise team joins active ministry” (Madison Marcher):

    “The praise teams at Madison have been blessed … the Gold Team emerges as Madison’s newest praise team….”
November 17, 2004
  • The Madison Marcher declares “White Sock Sunday (a.k.a. ‘Sock It Away Campaign’) Success.” In addition to the “regular” contribution, the financial campaign contribution toward “Debt Retirement” was $304,664.67….
December 1, 2004
  • This month was highlighted by “Your Holiday Events” (Madison Marcher, 11.24.2004) with activities as: “Christmas of Hope” (12/2) benefiting the Morning Star Sanctuary; “Breakfast with Santa” (12/4, Sat.) in the Church Mall [$4 for adults, $2 for ages 3-11]; “A S’mores Christmas Party (12/4, Sat.)—“Parents Night Out—Kids Night of Fun”; “Singles’ Christmas Party” (12/2, Sat., 7-9 p.m., $15 per person at…)—‘Bring a wrapped Christmas ornament to play {Dirty Santa}’; “CHRISTMAS SINGING” (12/19, Sunday at 6 p.m., Bixler Chapel)—‘Start your holiday week with this inspiring service

    The new pulpit minister, Phil Barnes, addresses his affinity for Christmas: “‘Merry Christmas’ has been replaced with ‘Happy Holidays.’ … It’s so easy to walk right past the manger with our arms full of gifts, isn’t it? … But … the one God sent to all of us wrapped in cloth and lying in a manger … Jesus Christ is Born!” [on December 25]

    “What Is The Drama Ministry (cf. Madison Marcher, 12.1.2004). “The goal of the drama ministry is to give glory to God through the use of drama declaring, illustrating and clarifying Biblical truth [emph., d.c.]…” using I Corinthians 9:22 [becoming “all things to all men”]; I Peter 4:10-11 [“whatever gift”]; Eph. 6:19-20 [“make known the mystery of the gospel”].

    Sounds like misuse of the scriptures. The other “minister(s)” would have been closer to the truth had they quoted one of their own chief ministering change agents:
    • <font color=blue size=3 face=Times New Roman> “Drama works because we KNOW that it ISN'T TRUE. IF the word entertainment does mean to DIVERT one’s attention, to cause to be pleasurable, to cause to be interesting, then that is what we're here to do.”</font>
January 16, 2005
  • Beginning this Sunday and the following, Phil Barnes, as a strong advocate of the Community Church/Change Movement, delivers sermons such as: “Is This All There Is to It?”; “Shattering the Shackles”; “Remove the Chains”; etc. These are favorite agenda among change movers. See “Timeline, Part VIII” for details.
January 26, 2005
  • Beginning this issue of the Madison Marcher, Keith Lancaster, the Musical Worship Leader, writes a series of articles on musical worship: (1) “Worship: It’s All About You, God!” [Notice how he “personally” addresses our heavenly Father—a semblance of “Hey, Man!”]; (2) “Worship: Our Great Heritage of Singing” [What heritage?]; (3) “Worship: God-Centered Singing” [What about Worship-Leader-Praise-Team-Centered Holy Entertainment at the Worship Center?]. See “Timeline, Part VIII” for details.
February 16, 2005
  • The “INTERACTIVE EASTER WORSHIP DRAMA” all over again!!! “This year on Saturday, March 26th at 7 p.m. and again on Easter Sunday during our 10:30 a.m. worship service, we will be celebrating the Easter Story together in an interactive worship drama … attend these special times of worship … when we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper … no … Canaan’s Land … during the Easter Morning worship service.” [This was brought up in “Timeline, Part VIII” for discussion … but unfortunately diverted into other irrelevant topics.]
March 17, 2005
  • A review of an article, “Phil Barnes/Pulpit Minister,” in the Madison Marcher (Vol. 53, No. 39, Oct. 6, 2004) reveals the obvious path that the church leaders are treading. “The elders composed a list of 15 … matching … characteristics necessary [for] … that man … to carry Madison forward….” What qualifications? <font color=indigo>“… Sensitive to traditional/contemporary services … Relevant to today’s environment … Team oriented—gets along well with others … People person … Motivator/promoter [of change, d.c.]….”</font> One very keen observer noted the list as being “Bible-starved
March 27, 2005
  • The contemporary assembly at 10:30 a.m. was entertained with the performance of the “Interactive Easter Worship Drama,” but the 8:00 a.m. assembly was “deprived” of the Easter festival [thank you!!!] Note that some of the elders actually participated in the “Worship Drama.” Was “worship” interactive? There was virtually no congregational participation. All the intervening music during the drama was performed by the “worship leader” [in a “priestly” white robe] and his minstrels. However, the audience participated in the long applause at the conclusion of the worship drama.
April 10, 2005
  • There was the “combined worship service” at 10:00 on this “Madison Family Day.” The “worship leader,” and his Praise Team and handclappers were in their best behavior. The atmosphere was reverential; the Praise Team members had to hide their microphones; the other cheerleaders proved that the clapping hands have no vocal cords. Congregational singing was evident on this day.

    Well, unfortunately, all of that was only transient. On the Sunday following, of course, the “charismatic” behavior of some and the concert-like environment did quickly return. (Please read the article in Part IX titled “The Sunday I Was at the ‘Christian’ Rock Concert.”)
May 18, 2005
  • Announcement of “New Adult Sunday School Classes Beginning in June” including:
  • (a) HomeBuilders [popular among denominations] now called LifeBuilders with both men and women teachers [
    — …
    — Terry & Susie Ashley
    — Rob Wells and Leanne Shelby (female Youth Minister)
    — …
    — Madison’s Praise Team (male and female choir members)];
  • (b) Single Mothers Class; and
  • (c) Serving Singles.
June 1, 2005
  • Again, a repeat in 2005 of Rick Warren’s “church growth” scheme’s special feature—incorporating. Announcement—“NOTICE TO ALL MADISON CHURCH OF CHRIST MEMBERS: We will have our annual corporation meeting on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 at 6 p.m. in the Main Auditorium. Buck Dozier will be conducting the meeting”
June 8, 2005
  • Kay Nickell writes in “Remembering Dad” about Russ Kersten, elder, and his illness and death.
June 29 2005
  • In the preceding Timeline thread (#10), someone was asking about Keith Hall, the male “Youth Minister”—and Tory Tredway’s replacement. Many people have wondered to this day how and why Tory lost his job. [Hush, Tory wasn’t the singy-clappy charismatic kind of guy. Young … but he did not meet the “contemporary” standards.] There are a few posts in the thread about “Tory Tredway.” Check the Page 1 Index for this thread last-dated March 4, 2005.
August 10, 2005
  • “David Billingsley and Steve Smith … were ordained as Elders on August 7, 2005” [Marcher, 8.10.05]. “Marty Rothschild has been assigned to work with Steve as his mentoring Elder” [Marcher, 8.17.05].
August 17, 2005
  • In “To the Elders and Members of Madison Church of Christ,” Howard Henderson writes—“I indicated to the Elders at our Spring Rereat that upon the installation of any additional shepherds, I would be bowing out of this role.” [Marcher]
September 7, 2005
  • “Madison Welcomes New Lipscomb President, Randy Lowry”—“… will be preaching … on September 25th … founder of the nationally-recognized Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and was a professor of law at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.”
September 14, 2005
  • Phil Barnes writes re: the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts—“In consultation and agreement with the elders, I committed our congregation to provide a week of relief help for the Red Cross Shelter that is being established at Two Rivers Baptist Church.” [Marcher]
October 26, 2005
  • Preparing for the Christmas Drama—“A Christian Carol.” “As Phil announced … we will be doing a full-length Christmas play this year. The dates for the production will be December 17th and 18th (Saturday and Sunday) at 7:00 p.m. each night. The play is an adaptation of the Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol” which we are calling “A Christian Carol.” Why are we doing a Christmas drama? … Using drama, we can break down defenses and are often able to get people to come to a performance [emph. d.c.] who might be intimidated by a regular church service…. If it is God’s purpose to use this drama to reach the unchurched in our community, Satan will try to put obstacles in our path. … Once again, we ask that each of you be praying over this play….”
January 25, 2006
  • Financial Report of the Saints’ Collection (cf. Marcher)

    <font face=courier>Expenditures:
    --- Personnel Wages -------- 865,688,66
    --- ------ Benefits -------- 167,308.31
    --- ------ Counseling ------- 42,398.00
    --- ===================================
    --- Wages & Benefits ----- 1,075,394.97 = (36.51% of Receipts)
    --- Benevolence ------------ 124,191.07 = (04.22%)

    2006 Wish List: New Church Sign ----- 55,000.00
    --- Media: Video Projector ----------- 8,000.00
    --- --------- Time Base Corrector –--- 2,000.00
    --- --------- Projection Switcher --- 20,000.00
    --- --------- Pro Tools Software –--- 12,000.00</font>
March 26, 2006
  • Job Announcement—“… That growth has led us to a wonderful opportunity that your Shepherds are excited to share with you. It has been decided to add a new position to our Ministry Team, an Associate Minister of Community and Family Development. This crucial role will primarily deal with coordinating our volunteers in our many ministries, coordinating our efforts to assimilate new members, and coordinating our Small Group ministry. … As a family of believers, your Shepherds ask you to agree to pray for this decision and this process, and that God will send us the man He has already chosen.”
Is the above announcement of a job for “just the right man” [not “woman”—this has been verified ] one more indication of how an incorporated church operates and functions? It’s been about three months. Perhaps missed … please notify us if God has sent “the man He has already chosen.”
</font>
_______________________________________

Quoting Phil Sanders:
  • <font color=blue size=3 face=Times New Roman> “Entertainment settings should not be regarded as periods of worship. … There is no harm in clapping with appreciation for the entertainer, but clapping in worship seems to take the focus off of God and put it on the performer. To be caught up in the skill of a performer and to lose sight of God dilutes and cheapens worship. The rock star status accorded to some entertainers has little place next to the cross. In worship the focus must be on praising God, not the skills of men. Worship put on for show is clearly condemned in Scripture (Matt. 6:1-18; 23:5-12). … The recent blurrings of these distinctions [between entertainment and worship], coupled with the exposure to so many denominational worship services on television, services which feature professional performers, has created the confusion.” </font>
_______________________________________

<font size=3 face=times new roman>NOTE: Prior posts to this thread have been archived here. This is done to keep the loading time down and to ensure that all messages in the thread can be viewed. Thanks.
</font>
<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>Catching Glimpses of Events at Madison … from the “Worship Guide”:

______________________________

An announcement in the W.G. on November 26, 2006: “Breakfast with Santa” (Saturday, December 2, 9-11 a.m.; Tickets: $4—Adults, $2—kids 3-11). Pancake and sausage breakfast with fun and games for the kids plus an opportunity to visit with Santa and have pictures made! Gift baskets will be sold through a silent auction for Christmas gifts as well as a live auction for other great gifts. This fundraiser supports Madison’s preschool program—Creator’s Kids.

RESPONSE: There was a song “Only by Grace,” © 1990 [“suspect” Integrity’s Hosanna! Music], negates the truth that after conversion, the Christian must produce good works as the book of James states that “for as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” “Not by our human endeavor” negates the truth:
  • <font color=red> "Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. [John 6:27]

    "[26] For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; [27] And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. [28] Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, [29] And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." [John 5]
    </font>
“In the news … ‘Talented saxophone artist Jonas Weathers and the Tea & Jam Orchestra along with a few special guests will present the sounds of Christmas at the next TEA & JAM, Saturday, December 9, from 7 to 10 p.m….’”

______________________________

In the W.G., December 10, 2006:

“God’s hand is on each moment of our lives … the ones we wish we could do over and the ones we wish could last forever…
  • <font size=5>“God</font> <font size=4>Moments</font>”

    Saturday, December 16
    Sunday, December 17 7 p.m.


    Most people look at Nicholas and see problems. After causing a catastrophe at last year’s Christmas play, it’s understandable when some of the cast don’t want him to have a part in this year’s…

    Postcards are available at the Welcome Center for you to use to invite fmily, friends, neighbors or coworkers to our CHRISTMAS DRAMA—‘GOD MOMENTS.’ The drama will be December 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. Admission is free. [Wow!]”
RESPONSE: The “Worship Leader’s Praise Team” was loud—as usual. I did check this out—“Ancient of Days” as one would assume to be a solemn “hymn.” No, it is not! Again, © 1992, from [“suspected Charismatic”] Integrity’s Hosanna! Music/Integrity’s Praise Music. The “clap-clap-clap” rhythm/beat is in the sheet music. The Praise Team performed the clapping to perfection while, to the CONTRARY, expressions were in the song such as: “Ev’ry KNEE SHALL BOW at Your throne.” Can someone explain this scenario?

“Joy to the World” was sung in both the “traditional” assembly and the “contemporary worship service.” Getting a little bit in the mood for “Christmas,” eh? Nick Boone would lead this song anytime during the year in the past. Now, no, Keith Lancaster leads this only during “Christmas.” See the difference? Think!

______________________________

In the W.G., December 17, 2006:

A similar announcement regarding the Christmas Drama, “God Moments.”
  • <font size=4>The final performance is TONIGHT!</font>

    “There will not be a worship service in Bixler Chapel tonight.”
RESPONSE: The “Christmas Drama” taking precedence over the Sunday night’s “worship service.” How long will it be before the Madison leadership allow or make the Sunday assembly an INTERACTIVE “Happy Birthday to Jesus” Christmas Drama Celebration? Wonder why this is somewhat lagging behind the INTERACTIVE EASTER DRAMA WORSHIP in the spring? By the way, while the MUSICAL WORSHIP was charismatic most of the way, the sermon was titled, “The Message of Christmas.”

______________________________

In the W.G., December 24, 2006:

Bob Benson is quoted: “The light shined in the darkness and it still shines, and shines, and shines. And when our lights flicker and die—when those with whom we have long celebrated are gone—when we can no longer share needs or exchange gifts, or sing songs—it will still be Christmas because Jesus is Born, Jesus is Born!”

[To be fair …] Isaiah 9:6 is also quoted: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Might God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (N.I.V.)

RESPONSE: “Joy to the Word” … “O Come All Ye Faithful” … “Silent Night” … “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” during the “Christmas Eve.” Keith did some injustice to “contemporary Christian POP/ROCK artists” by not singing their Christmas his songs. Maybe … next time when the he finds the leaders and the audience to be “more” accepting. Keith also had the audience in control at Christmas because there was no clapping and rowdy behavior while making a “JOYFUL NOISE” unto the Lord … whereas or while he is also in control as he leads or cues the audience to be clappy-clappy-clappy and rowdy when “worshipping” the Father the rest of the year.

______________________________

More information can be found in the Madison Marcher at the new and improved website:

http://www.madisoncofc.org/marcher.pdf

______________________________

Donnie</font>
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Servant
Servant

December 26th, 2006, 11:31 pm #37

Donnie:
Is this the best thing this Site is for???
For critical analysis of the elers/praise team/drama team/those you dislike at Madison?

As I asked you previously at Faithsite.com I ask you again....
If you don't like it at Madison, then why do you attend there?
Start your own church, or go to one where you prefer their worship style!!!
Getting to heaven isn't going to happen by showing the world that you dislike or distrust your brother in Christ!
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

December 30th, 2006, 9:23 pm #38

<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>Servant __________:

As a prospective elder of “___________ church of Christ” [if you’re not already one], I am sure you are familiar with these passages:
  • “ [27] For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. [28] Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. [29] For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. [30] Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” [Acts 20, KJV]

    “[13] Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: [14] Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. [15] Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” [Matt. 7, KJV]
Wake up! Rick Warren’s Community Church Movement, with the help of change agents operating in the brotherhood, has already intruded the church and acquired some of the congregations. This is NOT about preferences. The culture-driven methodology used is indeed delusive—that’s why it appears that the point of the argument is about “worship style”; thus, your favorite expression: “preferences.” No … no … no! It is about “their” redefinition of what the “gathering of the saints” is supposed to encompass. [BTW, this has been discussed in numerous threads—in case you’re interested.]

In other words, it is about changing God’s scheme of redemption as revealed in the Holy Scripture to some human-contrived plan … as well as changing other biblical teachings to those derived from denominational creeds.

Servant, I was looking for your rebuttal in detail against my specific statements. I didn’t see any explanation in your post except to remark concerning “getting to heaven” and distrusting “your brother in Christ.” Oh, well, I think they’re good subject matters for discussion at some other time.

I’ve been asked these [your] same questions numerous times before. It’s time consuming to keep repeating myself, but I must say that I, along with hundreds of alienated brethren that decided to leave and seek fellowship somewhere else, was here before the intrusion and the havoc as a result. Moreover, there are still hundreds of members who feel the same way as I do, and they have stayed.

By the same token, you believe and teach that it is OK to let the inanimate, lifeless musical instruments participate in the assembly of the saints. You very well know that more than 99% of the congregations of the church (Christ’s) you still claim to be a member of do not allow such lifeless objects to participate in the gathering. So, a similar question is posed—why interfere and confuse and sow discord among your brethren by teaching such man-contrived dogma—why not simply join the Christian Church fellowship that practices what you teach?

Donnie</font>
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Servant
Servant

December 31st, 2006, 6:17 am #39

Donnie:
You said..."Servant, I was looking for your rebuttal in detail against my specific statements. I didn’t see any explanation in your post except to remark concerning “getting to heaven” and distrusting “your brother in Christ.” Oh, well, I think they’re good subject matters for discussion at some other time."

Would that be like when I gave rebuttal about your "proof", or lack thereof of showing historical evidence that instrumental music was not used with the first century church?

You show historians who did not live during the time of the first century church. I refutted one of your main historians, whom you say was quotted out of context when I showed proof that the said there was "no blame" for anyone if they wanted to used instruments of music.
Most of the historians that you quoted mentioned about the 'lifeless' instruments' out of preferrrence. That has nothing to do with fact showing that the first century church did/did not use instrumental music.
NO EVIDENCE Donnie. Even the historian Clemente, that you used to show 'proof', showed disdain for your 'proof.'
You use statements such as 'the silence of God is not permissive', and 'where the Bible speaks speak, and where the Bible is silent remain silent.
So I ask you about the great commission and how it tells us to 'go' but is SILENT on HOW to go. But then that is sooooooooo different from when the NT tells us to sing, and not HOW to sing.
Donnie, will those like you always claim ignorance to why the church of Christ is growing slower than it ever has???
Its because of WHAT YOU LIKE, but hexing and vexing what you don't like.
You use your sacred CENI for the items in the NT for which you prefer, but when it is used against you (the great commission and silence on how to go) then you say it is sin.
The only sin here is when Christians take it upon themselves to try to rewrite the Words of God and add sin to the Word where there was none in the first place. I used the word 'Christians' Donnie because I believe that you are a Christian, just a misguided one. Perhaps you no longer call me one, but I still believe that you and Bill and even Ken are my Christian brothers who are in SERIOUS error and need to ask God for forgiveness for your sins. I have already forgiven you. If it is a strong rhetoric that I have to keep up with you men, then so be it. YOU ARE IN ERROR, and you need to deal with it.

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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

January 1st, 2007, 3:24 am #40

Well, our friend Servant is still denying all the evidence from numerous church historians and music scholars, who stated that the early Christians did NOT use instrumental music in their worship. He implies that no one can make that claim unless they had actually lived during that period of time. If that's the case, then all the universities should do away with their departments of history, since no one today can write about anything that happened prior to their lifetime. According to Servant's logic, "History" would only encompass the events that took place within the lifetime of the present generation. That, my friends, is most comical.

And why does Servant still cling tenaciously to one quote made by Clement of Alexandria, who supposedly said he would not blame the early Christians if they had used IM in worship. That was merely the opinion of a mortal man, not the words of Christ or the apostles; Clement in no way implied that the early Christians actually used IM in their worship. We just have too much historical evidence to the contrary, despite the fact that Servant has chosen to deny all that evidence, because it doesn’t suit his preferences. But perhaps Servant conveniently overlooked these quotes from Clement:

“"Leave the pipe to the shepherd, the flute to the men who are in fear of gods and intent on their idol worshipping. Such musical instruments must be excluded from our wingless feasts, for they are more suited for beasts and for the class of men that is least capable of reason than for men. The Spirit, to purify the divine liturgy from any such unrestrained revelry chants: ‘Praise Him with sound of trumpet,’ for, in fact, at the sound of the trumpet the dead will rise again; ‘praise Him with harp,’ for the tongue is a harp of the Lord; ‘and with the lute. praise Him,’ understanding the mouth as a lute moved by the Spirit as the lute is by the plectrum; ‘praise Him with timbal and choir,’ that is, the Church awaiting the resurrection of the body in the flesh which is its echo; ‘praise Him with strings and organ,’ calling our bodies an organ and its sinews strings, for from them the body derives its Coordinated movement, and when touched by the Spirit, gives forth human sounds; ‘praise Him on high-sounding cymbals,’ which mean the tongue of the mouth which with the movement of the lips, produces words. Then to all mankind He calls out, ‘Let every spirit praise the Lord,’ because He rules over every spirit He has made. In reality, man is an instrument arc for peace, but these other things, if anyone concerns himself overmuch with them, become instruments of conflict, for inflame the passions. The Etruscans, for example, use the trumpet for war; the Arcadians, the horn; the Sicels, the flute; the Cretans, the lyre; the Lacedemonians, the pipe; the Thracians, the bugle; the Egyptians, the drum; and the Arabs, the cymbal. But as for us, we make use of one instrument alone: only the Word of peace by whom we a homage to God, no longer with ancient harp or trumpet or drum or flute which those trained for war employ” (Clement of Alexandria, 190AD The instructor, Fathers of the church, p. 130).

Notice above that Clement takes phrases from the Psalms about using instruments and makes metaphorical comparisons to man's natural instruments, the tongue, the lips, the voice, all to sing praises to God. Clement concluded that instruments were no longer used to praise God.

“He who sprang from David and yet was before him, the Word of God, scorned those lifeless instruments of lyre and cithara. By the power of the Holy Spirit He arranged in harmonious order this great world, yes, and the little world of man too, body and soul together; and on this many-voiced instruments of the universe He makes music to God, and sings to the human instrument. ‘For thou art my harp and my pipe and my temple.’” (Clement of Alexandria, 185AD, Readings p. 62)

More metaphors from Clement about scorning lifeless instruments.




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