Ken Sublett
Ken Sublett

December 21st, 2007, 2:30 am #11

<font color=red size=4>
Part XII—Section A
</font>


<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?
</font>

_______________________________________



<font color=red size=4>
End of Part XII—Section A
</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 from each thread can be viewed. Thanks.
</font>
If I can butt in: You can look at a collection of notes about the synagogue or ekklesia at this click site:

http://www.piney.com/Synagogue1.html

If you want to understand how the EXTERNAL PSALLO or making music explains why Jesus consigned the pipers, singers and dancers to the Agora or Marketplace you have to understand the NAMES of the different assemblies. Jesus cast out the musical minstrels trying to do their enchantment on the "dead girl." The word CAST OUT means "more or less violently like one casts out dung. He also consigned the pipers, singers and dancers" to the Agora or Marketplace. The similar Hebrew word has the meaning of "playing the flute, pollute and prostitute. As when Lucifer was cast as profane out of heaven." This paragraph has a clickable link to the AGORA which defines the EKKLESIA which absolutely outlaws acting, music or "making up your own sermon texs."

http://www.piney.com/Agora.MarketPlace.html

Because of formatting limits the following is a slow-loading image:




Quote
Share

Joined: January 2nd, 2005, 6:45 am

December 24th, 2007, 11:00 pm #12

Donnie,

I am not familiar with the comment in question, but agree that hiring a professional worship consultant for the purpose of training someone how to fake sincerity is definitely missing the heart and intent of worship…

However, I believe you have taken your objection to an extreme when you state that feigned worship is the result of an individual holding a microphone and singing as part of a so-called praise team… Such a statement indicates your belief in your ability to read the hearts of everyone participating in a praise team and divine right to declare the insincerity of their hearts…

In the church we speak of giving God our best, looking down on those who don’t give as we feel they should… Whether it be the wearing of jeans whenever there are several suits in the close at home, or attending your child’s high school graduation on a Sunday night rather than assembling with the saints, we love to chastise people for not giving their best… Then, whenever someone takes seriously the singing of praises to our God and spends time during the week to sing, practice or rehearse the songs prior to leading the congregation in worship on Sunday, we chastise and call them insincere, and make judgments against their hearts… SHAME ON US!

You write about the assembly of the New Testament church and call it simple, indicating that it consisted of prayer, songs to teach and admonish, reading and studying of God’s word, observance of the Lord’s Supper, but you never supply details of this simple worship except to list the activities performed… Please tell us how they performed these activities, outline the procedure for each, explaining the thought process of those sincere worshippers…

Donnie, have you ever preached a sermon??? If so, did you ever rehearse the thoughts of your lesson??? Ever stand in front of a mirror and practice your delivery, notice your facial expression or hand movements??? If not, what about all of those preachers who have done so, were their hearts insincere, was their rehearsing what should have been a simplistic delivery of a simple message sinful??? Wouldn’t this be called rehearsing, rehearsing and then PERFORMING the programmed worship??? I mean, you do agree that preaching is a form of worship, right???

I don’t think you have thought this out very well… It seems you are too interested in judging the faithfulness of each worshipper more than you are interested in worshipping the Father…

I await your response…
<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>Chris,

First, the comment in question from Tom Runyan came from the first post just below the End of Timeline Part XII—Section C entitled, Message from a “Former ‘Worship Leader’”—Revisited. It was an e-mail sent to me by Dan Lucarini, author of “Why I Left the Contemporary Christian Music Movement” (Evangelical Press 2002). Please take time to read that e-mail—you will benefit much from the message coming from one who identifies himself as “a Baptist by the church name.”

I have corresponded with Dan a number of times since he had checked out the link to my post titled “The Paperless Hymnal: Bridging the Gap” (December 22, 2003 at 6:21 A,M.). He wrote in response, “I was a PDC [Purpose-Driven Church] worship leader at one time, and am now eager to expose the unbiblical, anti-historical and unspiritual worship/music teachings of Pastor [Rick] Warren.”

Besides Lucarini’s confession of being a former “Purpose-Driven Church worship leader at one time,” he also brought to my attention another book written by Dan McGowan who made reference to “a professional worship consultant” who taught the “worship team how to fake the sincerity.”

That was the post Tom Runyan was alluding to when he posed “a quick question” for me. And that’s to let you know, Chris, that teaching “the worship team how to fake the sincerity” did not originate with me.

In regard to your other comments, I [or you] do not [have to] have “the ability to read the hearts of everyone participating in a praise team [your words].” It is just apparent. I have mentioned it numerous times that the “praise team” has gone way beyond its original intent of “aiding” the congregants with learning new songs—which process in itself can be accomplished without using the microphone.

Most of the “new contemporary songs” at one time are no longer new. Besides, the “Praise Team” in many cases and in reality has not given the non-praise team members [i.e., the ENTIRE congregation LESS the 8- or 16-member “choir”] to do their singing. How is that? The PT members COMPLETELY DOMINATE the congregational singing, especially when the volume of the microphone is set to high Jezebels [ ].

If you’re unable to discern that congregational singing was/is at its best when there was/is no “praise team” dominating the singing, I don’t know what else to tell you.

As far as “sincerity” is concerned, that is an issue brought on by the “worship team” members themselves. Does the sincerity of the Jehovah’s Witnesses or of the Mormons or of the Christian Scientists or of the Seventh Day Adventists make it right? You decide. Besides, it was Dan McGowan [not Donnie] who brought up what “the professional worship consultant” did—i.e., teaching “the worship team how to fake the sincerity.”

Chris, using the examples (wearing jeans vs. suits, attending a child’s graduation vs. the assembly on a Sunday night, etc.) that you gave to prove your argument is irrelevant. There is no performance issue involved in those examples.

In regard to the simplicity of the assembly of the saints in the first century, what details are there to supply? I could be wrong in making this assumption about the intent of your questions, but I gather that you wanted me to detail the “music” part, correct? For your information, there was no inanimate and lifeless musical instrumentation that participated in the assembly that was patterned after the synagogue worship. I envision you seeing no disagreement there.

There was no “worship leader” in concept or in reality. Would you concur? Otherwise, please do not even attempt to bring up the misapplication of the “law of silence” that has been perverted to death by change agents who would readily say to do or have “because the New Testament does not say ‘NOT TO.’”

There was no “praise team” in concept or in reality in the assembly of the first century Christians. Again, it would be irrational to accept the change agents’ proposition that it is OK for the “worship team” to perform to or for the congregants “because the New Testament does not say ‘NOT TO.’”

I think you should do your own research regarding the simplicity of the assembly of the early New Testament church. For sure you will not find an explanation of “the thought process of those sincere worshippers.” But I know you are capable of making the distinction between what comprised the simplicity of synagogue worship [except for the addition of the observance of the Lord’s Supper—which was practiced by the early Christians] VS. the “worship made for TV or holy entertainment” programmed by the denominational world and copied by a few of the congregations of the church of Christ.

You mentioned “rehearsing” a sermon. And equating that with “rehearsed worship”? No, Chris, that analogy is flawed. You are making sermon delivery “worship” in itself. You are also making “music” [by our audio-visual standards] “worship” in itself.

No, I am not judging “the faithfulness of each worshipper”—I would have the most difficulty in naming EACH among the hundreds of folks in attendance. However, I would question what the leadership has allowed to happen in the assembly of the saints.

Donnie</font>
Quote
Like
Share

Chris
Chris

December 26th, 2007, 6:39 pm #13

Donnie,

I appreciate your response and the spirit in which it was written… I will do my best to respond in like manner, both in content and spirit…

I am aware that the comment in question, regarding the hiring of a professional worship consultant to train people how to fake sincerity, didn’t originate with you… And, as I indicated in my previous post, I believe such to miss the heart and intent of worship, and oppose such for the same reason…

I have attended many congregations that do not utilize “praise teams…” I currently attend one that does... You indicate that “if I am unable to discern that congregational singing was/is at its best when there was/is no praise team dominating the singing, that you don’t know what else to tell me.” My interpretation of your statement is that you struggle more with the volume of the “praise team” than you do with utilization of the “praise team.” Now, I admit, that my interpretation is probably going to be considered incorrect in your eyes… But using words and statements such as dominating and when the volume of the microphone is set to high Jezebels seems to indicate that my thoughts are correct…

As far as the “sincerity” of “praise team” members is concerned, we must limit our speaking of such in negative terms until we are able to witness the fruits each person produces...

For you to claim, with the wave of your fingers over the keyboard, that my examples were irrelevant is absolutely ludicrous… Performance in worship is a just as wrong when it comes to what we wear or how we attend as it does in “praise teams…”

As you, Donnie, I would love to see consistency when it comes to the “law of silence…” Please outline, for me, the common worship service of the first century church, detailing how each service unfolded, the order of the activities, how each was performed and whether or not this service format was consistently followed throughout each province, region or country…

For you to deny my “rehearsing a sermon” illustration and say that such is flawed is also ludicrous… Yes, I would suggest that sermon delivery is worship… I would definitely suggest that my/your delivery of the word in a congregational worship setting is offering worship to God… And, yes, I would make “music” worship, also… Music, offering the fruit of our lips, coming from the heart, singing praises to the Lord is definitely worship. Do you disagree with that???


Quote
Share

Joined: January 2nd, 2005, 6:45 am

January 21st, 2008, 11:30 pm #14

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

You said, “My interpretation of your statement is that you struggle more with the volume of the ‘praise team’ than you do with utilization of the ‘praise team ….’” There’s really no need to worry as to how I might interpret that. In fact, you’ve expressed it well for me.

Here’s what I would like to say: I am sure that there are “praise team” members that provide assistance in the congregational singing during the earlier assembly—NOW [but not previously] given the identification of “traditional worship service”; and that’s coming from the eldership’s announcement years ago after the upheaval. [I’m somewhat tempted to expound on the “unity in diversity” issue—but let’s save that for another time].

These PT members in the early assembly do not use the microphones and are likely not seated together in the front row(s)—thus avoiding the issue of being identified as “the church of Christ CHOIR.” It also dismisses the notion that there is PERFORMANCE by a group of singers involved.

If the same arrangement were set up in the “contemporary worship service”—a clear designation by the “authority” of the elders for such a division—the presence of the elite “CHOIR” with its PERFORMANCES would not be an issue.

So, you see, a resolution to this “musical” problem is within reach. It is reachable, but the elders have not been convinced and seem unwilling or afraid to attempt to resolve the issue(s) in this manner. One of the initial steps among others would be to discontinue the use of the microphones, or at least lower the noise level in decibels [“Jezebels”] a great deal. This will greatly reduce the elite group’s dominance and the seemingly unrecognized strategy of overpowering the “regular” members.

In spite of all the points described above, the fact remains that the “Praise Team,” whose services were initially implemented and it (the Praise Team) has become a permanent fixture in the assembly, was one of the major factors that contributed to the congregation’s demise—the division and eventual departure of many of its members.

Now, Chris, would you describe a bit more the “Praise Team” and how its services are utilized in your congregation? Perhaps, other congregations might benefit from your congregation.

On the “other” aspects you brought up, I’ll comment briefly: I agree that no one can really know or question the sincerity of the Praise Team members. It would be safe to assume that they are sincere [the Mormons, the Christian Scientists, the Jehovah’s Witnesses are sincere]—and leave it at that—but that’s no permission granted to utilize the services and performances of the Praise Team (or The Choir) when it’s almost a certainty that where it is not practiced, the introduction of the unnecessary, culture-driven and divisive scheme will result in the alienation of the brethren.

There is a difference between: (1) rehearsing a sermon for a more effective delivery of the message and (2) rehearsing “musical worship.”

The “law of silence” as a principle in helping determine whether or not a doctrine or teaching or belief is consistent with the doctrine of Christ and the teachings of the apostles is still safe for us today. The “law of silence” is opposite of “the law of permission”—the latter suggesting that “a belief or practice is permissible because the Scripture does NOT say “NOT TO.”

The simplicity of the assembly of the saints in the first century cannot be denied. It was patterned after the “synagogue worship” and based on the fact that the Jews were the first converts to Christ (cf. Acts 1;2). The synagogue assembly was comprised primarily of “prayer services” and giving heed to God’s Word (study and education). The contributions, money or possessions, were for the needy—an example of this is described in I Corinthians 16 when Paul said, “will I send your liberality unto Jerusalem.” For certain, no instrumental music machines participated in the assembly.

Obviously, the scriptural addition of the observance of the Lord’s Supper—to commemorate the suffering, death and burial of Christ—is not to be objected to.

If this should help, you might search online for “synagogue worship” in the first century.

Donnie</font>
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: January 2nd, 2005, 6:45 am

January 30th, 2008, 9:32 am #15

<font color=red size=4>
Part XII—Section A
</font>


<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?
</font>

_______________________________________



<font color=red size=4>
End of Part XII—Section A
</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 from each thread can be viewed. Thanks.
</font>
<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roma>It’d been a while since the last time I looked at the Madison church’s website . I didn’t need to as updates were far in between. The other day I decided to look at the site and noticed the new and improved colorful home page, etc.

I was partly disappointed by the new format in that certain pages were no longer available—the Marcher (monthly bulletin) for one.

Of all things, the menu options did not direct me to the elders’ (leadership) page. [The front page consists of these major menu items: Home, Directions, Worship Services, Contact Us.]

Now, I’m assuming that the site is still being developed, although there is no indication that “this site is under construction.” Does anyone know?

The “Senior Minister,” Phil Barnes, I would say, is very much aware that the congregation experienced turmoil, trials and tribulations early in this decade. On that basis, I know that he makes a conscious effort to avoid teaching and preaching controversial doctrinal matters—he thinks.

In his speech one Sunday (Jan. 20th), he emphasized in “Mission Possible” the church’s “mission statement” [a trend] that encompasses: (1) “WORSHIP GOD”; (2) “CONNECT PEOPLE”; (3) “REACH THE WORLD.” How different is that “mission statement” from the ancient way of identifying the major areas of responsibility of the church as: edification, benevolence, evangelism. Religious correctness in the post-modern culture?

Uh-oh! In his delivery he mentioned “Community Church” … “Family of God.” What about it, Phil? Is there a hint that the name may be changing to “Madison Church” as Oak Hills Church (TX) dropped the name “of Christ” so that the community church would be “seeker friendly”? Or, is there a hint that the name may be changing to “Madison Family of God” as the now known “Woodmont Hills Family of God” did some years ago?

O.K., Phil may be trying to educate the members and be accustomed to “the idea” for now by using the expressions in sentences, such as: “We should be an exemplary ‘community church’ in the Madison area”; “we are members of the ‘family of God’ in Madison, TN.”

Let us watch and pray.

Donnie</font>
Quote
Like
Share

Servant
Servant

February 15th, 2008, 4:04 am #16

Donnie:
A few points about your last post.
#1
"Now, I’m assuming that the site is still being developed, although there is no indication that “this site is under construction.” Does anyone know?"
Donnie, do you not attend Madison? Do you have a problem with going to the editor(s) personally and asking themselves what the problem is? This wouldn't be showboating for your readers, would it?
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#2
"The “Senior Minister,” Phil Barnes, I would say, is very much aware that the congregation experienced turmoil, trials and tribulations early in this decade. On that basis, I know that he makes a conscious effort to avoid teaching and preaching controversial doctrinal matters—he thinks.
Uh-oh! In his delivery he mentioned “Community Church” … “Family of God.” What about it, Phil? Is there a hint that the name may be changing to “Madison Church” as Oak Hills Church (TX) dropped the name “of Christ” so that the community church would be “seeker friendly”? Or, is there a hint that the name may be changing to “Madison Family of God” as the now known “Woodmont Hills Family of God” did some years ago?"

Donnie, Senior Minister in quotations is sarcastic, and you know it. So is "Uh-oh" and asking about a hint. Actually Donnie, the question is why do you even attend this church when your actions would wantonly aspirate (ask William what aspirate means) hope from this church instead of building it up?
If you are unhappy, start your own church. Don't TRY (you know I like to say try) to tear down a beautiful congregation like Madison. Madison will continue to stand tall with our Lord, even with you degrading it.
Sour grapes Donnie and grandstanding.....you didn't get your way so are still slinging snot like a child.
.......and folks here goes Donnie on 'Dave, you're the change agent. You are the VERY problem of the church. You are the DEFINTION of a pure thoroughbred change agent. You would have the LIFELESS INSTRUMENTS dragged into the assembly of your congregation and other churches of Christs everywhere. You would go against what is AUTHORIZED in the Word in the assembly (the same type assembly that the first century church participated in, right?).'
Anyhow, Donnie....I thought I could give you a head start.
You take it from there brother Donnie.
Please feel free to edit any or part or all of this.


Quote
Share

Joined: January 2nd, 2005, 6:45 am

March 4th, 2008, 6:29 am #17

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

In regard to your comments about Madison’s website, I would not hesitate to say again that the new and improved site is impressive, although it appears to be still “under construction.” At the same time, I’m really not in a position to go to “the editor(s) personally” to ask “what the problem is.” There may not be a problem to them as far as they’re concerned, e.g., the unavailability for viewing of the church’s weekly/monthly publication.

Now, I’ve noticed in some of the other churches’ websites, it’s sometimes very difficult to locate or link to “The Elders’ Page.” Madison may be following that trend. Generally, in these churches there seem to be greater emphases on the congregation’s “social” and other events and on how the New Testament church’s website should resemble the “denominational” images. If one is not reading carefully, he may not notice any differences in what is being taught in churches of Christ vs. the varying sets of beliefs and doctrines held by various religious groups.

Yes, I mentioned the “Senior Minister” just like that. I prefer the “evangelist.” To ascribe the additional title “senior” to a fully employed individual [meaning: someone who has no other means of income] denotes that there are subordinate ministers who are more likely paid as well.

Then, there’s another “full-time” CHURCH EMPLOYEE titled “Worship Leader” who is paid for wagging his arms [plus hand-clapping and/or foot-tapping] for however “long” it takes to do in the: (1) first, (2) second, (3) evening and (4) other gatherings—in those hours of the week.

There are other paid “staff” members. No, I did not invent the expression “staff infection.” But it [staff infection] certainly is happening and a problem in some congregations that now place much less value and significance to evangelization locally and overseas.

Servant, you mentioned “building it [the congregation] up.” That’s a good point. But based on church staffing and responsibilities, I think that the fully paid “Involvement Minister”—oops, it’s another one of those high ranking church officials—should be mainly responsible for that. Wouldn’t you think? Isn’t that what he’s paid for?

No, “getting my way” has never been a personal aspiration.

Perhaps, you meant “the way it was” prior to the implementation of unnecessary and controversial changes that alienated many brethren and caused many to leave?</font>
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: January 2nd, 2005, 6:45 am

April 19th, 2009, 2:56 am #18

<font color=red size=4>
Part XII—Section A
</font>


<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?
</font>

_______________________________________



<font color=red size=4>
End of Part XII—Section A
</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 from each thread can be viewed. Thanks.
</font>
Why "did or did not" in the title? It's because the "traditional" assembly did not have"drama worship" whereas the "contemporary" assembly had an "Easter Sunday Drama Worship"; in fact, it was "interactive."

Phil Barnes must have prepared two sermons for the two divided groups: (1) to remind Christians to commemorate the Lord's sacrifice and death on the cross on every first day of every week throughout the year -- which is ON THE DAY of His resurrection each week; and (2) to watch and participate in the DRAMA-worship-made-interactive.

With the two groups being separate and having their own identities, isn't it apparent that there is division, that we are not "perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment" (I Cor. 1:10)?

I have observed that "drama" has not been advertised in the last few years as well as in other years. In announcements, spoken or written, the word "drama" is hardly mentioned. Even in last Sunday's event, the drama itself was not as DRAMA-tic as in years past. (Of course, we remember that last year, there was no drama at all.) That's not to say that it no longer exists at Madison, or that it has outlived its original design and excitement. There is still what "they" call "DRAMA MINISTRY." And the question is how much longer can the same staged event go on and on for the next several years? Why not make a one-time purchase of a movie that portrays the resurrection of Christ, and show the same from year to year?

In this year's Easter Drama interactive worship, I believe there were some 20+ participants. There were different "stage acts" surrounding the crucifixion events interspersed with musical performances and Phil's remarks. A couple of songs were displayed on the big screen; otherwise, the PERFORMANCES, in addition to the drama itself, clearly dominated the events of the day -- solo, duet, quartet, and "the choir" on stage; rhythmic clapping; the applause.

Note that these were indeed performances. The auditorium was dark (because of the ongoing drama), too dark to use the hymnbooks. [BTW, hymnbooks and hymns are no longer used in the "contemporary" division. Well, maybe on occasion -- say, once a year?]. The female soloist -- I don't even think or remember that it was a hymn; maybe it was a Christian pop hit, but there was applause at the end, I recall.

Brent Wentworth (Keith Lancaster's replacement), with the male quartet in the background, performed the hymn "Were You There? " with some improvisation:

v. 1: Were you there when they crucified my Lord? [2X]
v. 2: Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree? [2X]
v. 3: Were you there when the sun refused to shine? [2X]
v. 4: Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb? [2X]

O__________ Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

v. 1: Were you there when they crucified my Lord? [or v/2/3/4 line is repeated.]


Notice the solemnity in those words that describe:"when they crucified my Lord . . . nailed Him to the tree . . . laid Him in the tomb"? I'm not sure about our culture anymore, a culture that is performance-oriented. But applause was initiated and the rest applauded the excellent performance. Wow!!! Im sure that it was the performance that was applauded -- not the solemnity in the message.

If my recollection serves me right and since the "Easter Sunday" celebration was about the resurrection, I was expecting the last verse to be sung: "Were you there when He rose up from the dead?" But I don't think that happened. [Please correct me if I'm wrong about this one.]

Somewhere near the end of the interactive DRAMA, there was another stage act number pertaining to the Last Supper. With the emphasis by the Progressive [Change] Movement on the Lord's Supper being a real meal, instead of a representation, the depiction in the drama was exactly that -- a meal [appeared to be a "loaf of bread" and drink container(s)] to two men and a woman at the table on stage.

So, while "the meal" was being served on stage, now it was time for the crowd to participate in the INTERACTIVE Easter Sunday Drama worship by partaking of the bread -- the Praise Team, of course, did its number by singing for the congregation while the bread was being passed.

I think there was a glitch -- at the time when the congregation was preparing to partake of the cup. Brent led a song about "this is the day" [clap-clap-clap], as if in celebration while yet partaking of the cup symbolizing the blood shed on the cross. So, there was the "clap-clap-clap" and the rhythmical music going on in the middle of the Communion.

There's no question that the dominating "Praise Team" that did the singing for the congregation and the drama actors made the Easter festival a performance-based occasion.
Quote
Like
Share

Jimmy Joe
Jimmy Joe

April 19th, 2009, 3:19 am #19

As I can tell from your post, you definietly paid attention at the Easter Drama Contemporary service. But where did you worship on April 12th? This may be redundant from the March 31st post but I'm still waiting for an answer. Would it be easier if I went to Faithsite and asked for your reply there as there seems to be quite a bit more action there than CM?
Quote
Share

Joined: January 2nd, 2005, 6:45 am

April 19th, 2009, 5:03 am #20

[color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]Hello, Jimmy Joe!

I have not forgotten your March 31st post. I promise to respond to your question soon, hopefully. I think it is a fair question, although redundant each time.

I would not necessarily make a comparison between faith-slight and concerned-members. One does not have a visitor counter; the other counts the visitor as one regardless of the number of page views and posts. One approves both good and evil posts; the other reads posts and messages before approval, edit or rejection. One allows automatic and immediate posting; the other does not facilitate such an option. (So, are you a regular viewer or poster at faith-slight?)

So, did you enjoy the performances at the place where YOU worshiped on April 12?[/color]
Quote
Like
Share