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

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

May 21st, 2007, 12:36 pm #1


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Part XII—Section A
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<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?
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End of Part XII—Section A
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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>
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<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.
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May 22nd, 2007, 5:44 am #2

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Part XII—Section B
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<font size=3 face=times new roman>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 size=1>------------------------------- 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 size=1>
    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 ‘78)
    John Broadway ---- resigned 06/2003 (… served since ‘98)
    Ray Wilson ------- resigned 06/2004 (… served since ‘92)
    Russ Kersten ----- resigned 06/2004 (… served since ‘92)

    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 9/’02)
    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 size=2>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>
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End of Part XII—Section B
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Please do not respond to [or immediately below] this section. Thanks.
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ConcernedMembers

October 12th, 2007, 12:32 pm #3

<font color=red size=4>
Part XII—Section A
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<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?
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End of Part XII—Section A
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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>
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<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.
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<font color=red size=4>
Part XII—Section C
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<font size=3 face=times new roman>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>
February 26, 2006
  • Keith E. Hall—Youth Minister (cf. Marcher). Tory Tredway’s replacement reports that he “accepted a new position at Lipscomb University as Director of Multicultural Affairs,” that it was not an easy decision—“my wife and I spent many months in prayer, and waited for God’s answer.” [When was Keith Hall employed as the Youth Minister? Please see the June 29, 2005 report above—re: Tory and Keith.]
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 this a case of “staff infection” within an incorporated church?]
April 16, 2006
  • Interactive EASTER WORSHIP DRAMA— Not highly publicized or announced, but the actors and actresses did their performance thing at the contemporary assembly. The “worship drama” consisted of the following acts: (a) Birth of Jesus; (b) Jesus with the Apostles; (c) Trial; (d) Crucifixion; (e) Burial; (f) Resurrection; (g) Communion; (h) Ascension. [Based on the program, the Lord’s Supper was observed as part of the “worship drama.”]
June 4, 2006
  • Madison Family Day—Combined Worship at 10:00 a.m.— “Worship Leader” Keith Lancaster led 5 hymns and 7 contemporary praise songs all together. Since the combined assembly was scheduled 15 minutes earlier than but closer to the regular contemporary assembly time [of 10:15 a.m.], the “traditional” folks were treated to a fine congregational singing. Keith’s Praise Team members occupied the front rows and were in their best behavior—no microphones, no clapping, no humming, no unintelligible sounds, no o-o-o-o-o sounds. However, Keith got excited and led the applause after the singing of “How Great Thou Art.” There were empty pews in the balcony—it certainly wasn’t as crowded (considering a combined assembly) as what would normally be the attendance at the 10:30 [second] assembly alone in years past. Attendance was 1770.
July 23, 2006
  • Madison Has Four New Shepherds—“… Tommy Cothron, Greg Drennan, Jim Gotto and Jim Overstreet were commissioned as our new Shepherds. Madison now has a total of 17 Shepherds to lead this flock.”
December 16, 2006
  • Christmas Drama—“God Moments” performance was on Saturday, December 16, and again on Sunday, December 17. On Dec. 24, Sunday, the following “Christmas” songs were sung [but not the rest of the year]: “Joy to the World,” “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Silent Night,” “Angels We Have Heard on High.” And … “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”
January 7, 2007
  • The “Worship Leader”—The last time Keith Lancaster would “bring the congregants into God’s presence” … made the announcement of his “resignation,” no longer to be an employee of the Madison church due to commitments to other music ministry and business endeavors. (I believe that his “decision to leave” was a big surprise to many.) But his trained “Praise Team” or the “church choir” concept was left behind. In the ensuing weeks, Kevin Dunnebacke would be assuming the role.
February, 2007
  • “Committee seeks Worship Minister”—Quoting the Marcher: Saying that his job as Madison’s Worship Minister was one of his greatest blessings and highest honors, Keith Lancaster resigned in early January to pursue other opportunities—the primary one being to travel and help other congregations worship in a spirit similar to Madison. … “Keith has been a dynamic worship leader [emphasis, d.c.] for our congregation for eight years,” said Phil Barnes, Senior Minister. “But we’ve formed a Search Committee, and we’re getting calls from worship leaders [emphasis, d.c.] all across the country who are interested in this position….” [See Marcher, Feb. 2007 for the rest of the article.]

    The following Madison’s own musical talents were evident as they led singing: John Magnuson (March 25); Jonas Weathers (April 1); Roger Ferguson (April 8); Brent Whitworth (no stranger to the congregation, April 15).
April, 2007
  • “Easter worship service includes special drama”—the April 2007 Marcher announces. Quoted: “… Come celebrate this special weekend as we relive the events at the center of our faith on Saturday, April 7, at 7 p.m. and on Easter Sunday, April 8, at 10:15 a.m. By way of an interactive worship drama, we’ll join a group of early Christians meeting in secret…. The Easter story is nearly 2,000 years old, but its message is timeless and its impact eternal. We look forward to experiencing it with you.” [emphases, d.c.]
May 20, 2007
  • “Madison Family Day—Combined Worship”—The contemporary assembly had to settle for no rhythmic clapping, no applause, no solo, no humming. Best of all, the Praise Team members [who were seated in the front rows (I think)] were microphone-less—thanks to those “visiting” from the early assembly!
July, 2007
  • “Madison welcomes new Worship Leader Brent Whitworth”—From the Marcher: “Brent Whitworth, Madison’s new Worship Leader [emph., d.c.] who begins July 1, is not a total stranger to Madison Church of Christ … actually worked in the basement of Madison several years ago when … [the] camp director of Valley View … was managing Madison’s Media Center … was living in Goodlettsville and attended worship here a few times when he wasn’t leading worship at his home church—Una Church of Christ … had a casual relationship with Madison minister Phil Barnes because he had worked with Barnes’ son Jeremiah and his group—Fourth Watch—which had recorded several of Whitworth’s songs….” [cf. July 2007 Marcher for remainder of the article.]
September, 2007
  • [Another] “Family Day Set for October 7th”—Phil Coats, who began serving as an elder in July 2003, has resigned to become the “congregation’s new Business Operations Minister,” replacing Jerry Sherrill who retired from his job as Business Administrator.
</font>

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<font color=red size=4>
End of Part XII—Section C
</font>
<font color=blue size=3>
Please do not respond to [or immediately below] this section. Thanks.
</font>

_______________________________________
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

October 15th, 2007, 3:56 am #4

<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>
First:

————————————————————————————————————————
QUOTED FROM AN E-MAIL: [[[[[<font face=Times New Roman size=3 color=blue>… 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>]]]]]
————————————————————————————————————————

Now:

<font size=4>Message from a "former ‘worship leader’"</font>
May 29 2005 at 6:46 AM

I must share this special message from someone who is highly knowledgeable about the CCM Movement. In fact, he has written a book published by Evangelical Press, “Why I Left the Contemporary Christian Music Movement,” now on its 13th printing. I have been granted permission to post this personally treasured e-mail from Dan Lucarini:

________________________________

  • <table border=2 cellpadding=2 cellspacing=2><tr><td width=475><font size=2>

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Dan Lucarini [[url=mailto:danlucarini@msn.com]danlucarini@msn.com[/url]]
    Sent: Saturday, May 28, 2005 7:29 PM
    To: donniecruz@msn.com
    Subject: Contemporary Worship Choreography-Made for TV or "the Audience of One"?

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

    I see you are still stirring up the 'worship' hornet nest! So am I. As a former worship leader, I knew exactly what the order of service you printed means. I chuckled at the 'VCC' (verse-chorus-repeat chorus). At the same time, seeing it again made me realize afresh how trite and manipulative is the entire exercise of 'planning worship'.

    There's an interesting book out called Worship: The Simple Mystery by Dan McGowan (friend of mine). It should have been titled 'confessions of a current worship leader'. Dan recounts the time a professional worship consultant came to his Evang Pres church and taught the worship team how to fake the sincerity. He also laments the professionalism that has taken over Sunday mornings.

    Our contemporary worship friends are caught in a dilemma of their own making. On one hand they tell us we have to abandon the old, dead, lifeless forms of worship where people do the same thing over and over again, and there is no spontaneity allowed. On the other hand, these same people rigorously program their own worship services with lots of little manipulative entertainment tricks like those in your article.

    Spontaneity always degenerates into ritual, whenever men devise their own ways to worship the gods. But where there is spiritual worship in truth (John 4:24), ritual cannot take control.

    Blessings in Christ, my fellow soldier. Hope to meet someday Lord willing.

    Dan</font>

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Contemporary Worship Choreography—Made for TV or "the Audience of One"? Donnie Cruz
    http://www.network54.com/Forum/message? ... 1116403970

    </font></td></tr></table>
________________________________

Donnie
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

October 15th, 2007, 5:44 am #5

<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 face=Courier color= “blue”> ———————————————————————————————————————
    Combined 8:00AM and Contemporary (10:30AM) Attendance

    ..... Recent stats are taken from the Marcher/worship program
    ..... All figures below include 300+ from the EXT dept.[?]
    ..... Sunday School Drive on October 19, 2003
    ..... “The Passion…” Movie Drive in February-March, 2004
    ..... Interactive Worship Drama (“Easter Sunday”) in April
    ..... Baby Day Celebration around first Sunday in May
    ..... Great Day in May
    ..... Memorial Day Service in last part of May
    ..... Madison Family Day (Combined at 10:00 in May or June)
    ..... Transition: Bruce White out; Phil Barnes in (Oct-Dec, 2004)
    ..... Membership Records for 2002 (Madison Marcher, 01.22.03):
    ..... __________ 1863 Family Units
    ..... __________ 4574 Attenders/Members
    ..... __________ 76 Baptized
    ..... __________ 124 Placed Membership
    ..... Membership Records for 2004 (Madison Marcher, 01.10.05):
    ..... __________ 1633 Family Units
    ..... __________ 3629 Attenders
    ..... Membership Records for 2005 (Madison Marcher, 01.25.06):
    ..... __________ 1675 Family Units
    ..... __________ 3514 Attenders/Members
    ..... __________ 30 Baptized
    ..... __________ 109 Placed Membership
    ..... Membership Records for 2006 (Madison Marcher, Feb. 2007:
    ..... __________ 1648 Family Units
    ..... __________ 3507 Attenders/Members
    ..... __________ 27 Baptized
    ..... __________ 90 Placed Membership

    ———————————————————————————————————————

    =====================================================
    2001 JANUARY <u></u> 3000+___3000+___3000+___3000+
    2001 FEB ______ ____________________________
    2001 MAR ______ ____________________________
    2001 APR ______ ________2525____________2303
    2001 MAY ______ 2498____2675____2403____2348
    2001 JUN ______ 2355____2558____2543____2371
    2001 JUL ______ 2531____2508____2428____2306____2386
    2001 AUG ______ 2177____2375____2297____2161
    2001 SEP ______ 2163____2335____2577____2096
    2001 DEC ______ 2148____2008____2039____2134____1985
    =====================================================

    2002 __________ [no stats available]
    _______________ [NOTE: 2002 census shows MCC with—
    _______________ 3142 members;
    _______________ 1786 in worship attendance;
    _______________ 4730 adherents]

    =====================================================
    2003 JUL ______ ________________1483________
    2003 AUG ______ 1702____1759____1726____1742____1732
    2003 SEP ______ 1782____1722____1629____1498
    2003 OCT ______ 1681____________2028____1643
    2003 NOV ______ 1708____1664____1526____1637____1596
    2003 DEC ______ 1554____1534____________1557

    =====================================================
    2004 JAN ______ 1725____1712____1640____1715
    2004 FEB ______ 1746____1606____1608____1647____1816
    2004 MAR ______ 1819____1718____1738____1698
    2004 APR ______ 1630____2697____1628____1733
    2004 MAY ______ 1639____1748____1605____1713____1686
    2004 JUN ______ 1648____1629____1660____1781
    2004 JUL ______ 1691____1633____1797____1639
    2004 AUG ______ 1678____1637____1773____1851____1771
    2004 SEP ______ 1640____1728____1715____1661
    2004 OCT Trans. 1687____1660____1630____1660____1617
    2004 NOV Trans. 1695____1663____1833____1796
    2004 DEC Trans. 1816____1761____________1491

    =====================================================
    2005 JAN ______ 1699____1845____1819____1628____1823
    2005 FEB ______ 1893____1844____1917____1953
    2005 MAR ______ 1903____1983____1731____2416
    2005 APR ______ 1736____1822____1750____1731
    2005 MAY ______ ________1900____1757____1800____1652
    2005 JUN ______ ________1685____1728____1717
    2005 JUL ______ ________1785____1745____1769____1683
    2005 AUG ______ 1881____1823____1772____2128
    2005 SEP ______ 2014____1917____1854____1915
    2005 OCT ______ 1637____1784____1811____1773____1794
    2005 NOV ______ 1798____1763____1766____1621
    2005 DEC ______ 1797____1729____1766____

    =====================================================
    2006 JAN ______ 1641____1924____1880____1808________
    2006 FEB ______ 1878____1833____1560____1927
    2006 MAR ______ ________1773____1646____1657
    2006 APR ______ 1697____1859____3206____1795____1829
    2006 MAY ______ ________1900____1955____1710
    2006 JUN ______ 1770____1852____1923____1826
    2006 JUL ______ 1921____1794____1785____1850____1971
    2006 AUG ______ 1992____1990____1806____1933
    2006 SEP ______ 1695____1864____________1888
    2006 OCT ______ 1880____1800____1872____1886____1884
    2006 NOV ______ 1984____1856________________
    2006 DEC ______ 2165____2057____1960____2046____1898

    =====================================================
    2007 JAN ______ 2148____2086____1944____2008
    2007 FEB ______ 1793____1961____________2017
    2007 MAR ______ 2051____1820____1888____1980
    2007 APR ______ 1942____2733____1920____1962____2008
    2007 MAY ______ 1892____2158____1172____1840
    2007 JUN ______ ________________________1899
    2007 JUL ______ 1927____1892____1879____1786____1884
    2007 AUG ______ 1996____1965____2039________
    2007 SEP ______ 1933____1876____1794____1902____1895
    2007 OCT ______ 1540

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~</font>

    <font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>NOTE: I mentioned at the outset that the weekly attendance recorded includes a count of 300+ from the “EXT. dept.”—whatever that means. That note stands unless and until a request for correction is received.</font>
<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>Former “Worship Leader” Keith Lancaster “resigned,” accordingly, in January, 2007. I’m inclined to think that the announcement surprised many members of the congregation. Was the “decision” for the good of the congregation? Time will tell. But one thing to remember is what ultimately occurred in 2001 when one Sunday morning, Mr. Lancaster and his elite “Praise Team” shocked the congregants with those “choir boys” and girls occupying the front rows with their handheld microphones and performing their thingies. The church has never been the same since.

Now that Keith is no longer here, Brent Whitworth is in. Fine! It has been refreshing since Brent came on board, I must admit. Excluding other matters, the only remaining issue that pertains to the assembly for worship—and, indeed, a major one—is that Keith’s Praise Team is still lingering around and has not abandoned its ambition that [as the participants think] the Lord is not going to be satisfied with the unrehearsed, unfeigned lifting of voices of just the “normal” [regular] saints in the assembly.

This past October 7th was “Madison Family Day.” I believe it was the second Family Day this year. Yes, on May 20, 2007, it was also “Madison Family Day—Combined Worship.” The recorded “combined” attendance in May was 1172. Was that a mistake if the 300 count from the EXT. dept. was not included? The record “combined” attendance on Oct. 7 was 1540—I would think that the 300 count was included this time. Regardless, though, what would be the reason for the low attendance during both Family days when the intent would be to show and prove that both “traditional” and “contemporary” divisions were united? I think that some analysis or evaluation or explanation is in place here. This observation is worth noting—there were many empty pews during the “combined” assembly up in the balcony where in years prior to 2001, the same area would be crowded during the second assembly at 10:30 alone.

Well, perhaps, blame it on the previously announced catered barbecue pork meal that cost $6 per person ($3 for children; free to children under 3)—unlike the way it was in years gone by when folks brought a variety of home-cooked, home-prepared stuff.</font>
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

October 30th, 2007, 6:11 am #6

<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 roman>Madison’s former “Worship Leader” Keith Lancaster has “resigned” according to the Marcher (January, 2007). But his organized “Praise Team” has not. What’s going on? Do those church leaders that succumbed to Rick Warren’s culture-driven “church growth” philosophy to implement whatever it takes to welcome “the un-churched” have short memories? Have they easily forgotten the church upheaval in 2001?

There was an opportunity to dissolve this controversial elite group at the time that Keith’s replacement came on board. But, no, it did not happen.

Brent Whitworth is very capable of handling the task of leading singing without the assistance from the choir. Yes, “the choir” comprised of adult “choir boys” … and “adult choir girls”—all co-leading, but, really unneeded..

There is a dilemma. If the choir WOMEN are not CO-LEADING with the men, what purpose do they serve? I know that the whole team is performing. Why? It is due to the fact that Brent does not even need fellow men leaders, much less WOMEN leaders. I know that the choir is performing. Why? It is due to the fact that the congregation of MEN and women can sing without the WOMEN leading both MEN and women. I know that the choir is performing because of their handheld microphones. Picture this: have you been to a concert or a large gathering in which the performers did not use microphones?

In essence, in the few “progressive” churches that have employed the services of the Praise Team, congregational singing is no longer their strength and “trademark.” “The church of Christ is known for its congregational singing—how ‘beautiful’ is the blend of voices without the use of musical instruments!!!” Wait … that’s what we used to hear from other religious groups making comments such as that! No, not anymore about those congregations with Praise Teams!!!

Should Madison at least try congregational singing again without the Praise Team?

I believe that it would be worth the try. It has outlived its questionable, deceptive purpose—to help teach new songs. Yeah, right! The congregation has been “learning” these contemporary “praise songs” for seven years now. And still hasn’t learned them? Really?!?!? Either the Praise Team thinks, “What a dumb congregation—can’t learn anything” … or the Praise Team thinks, “Well, the congregation likes our ‘worship rehearsals’ as well as our performances.”

Or … the Praise Team thinks, “We know that half of the membership that left because of what we [the Praise Team] caused the church to split is not coming back anymore anyway, so, we might as well continue performing.”

This particular problem is here to stay while the source of the problem remains.</font>
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

November 19th, 2007, 12:47 pm #7

<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>Today’s “contemporary worship” was all dominated by the “Praise Team” musical idolatry. Mark Spears substituted for Brent Whitworth. Mark might have done an excellent job leading singing … I think so. But I can’t say that with certainty because the other “worship leaders” consisting of both men and WOMEN “leaders” were overpowering him and the congregation. Let’s put the blame on the handheld microphones that the PT members use while they perform—as usual. OK? Even the female soloist—who performed the Communion song [I mean, prior to the point when the other PT performers joined her]—was pretty loud. Who couldn’t help but notice that a distracting female soloist was doing her thing while the others were trying to concentrate on the solemnity of the occasion? Again, let’s put the blame on the handheld microphone she was using. OK?

I seem to recall that there was a poster who recently brought up a question as to why the first assembly was scheduled for an hour (8:00-9:00) whereas the “contemporary praise worship” was scheduled for way over an hour beginning at 10:30.

[Pause—I’ll admit that I haven’t checked out the church’s website in months. Shame on me! Is it just my imagination and my ignorance? Right now, I don’t get the impression that the site is “under construction.” But I was looking for the schedule from 10:30-11:45. I didn’t see 11:45. So, I would think that “1 hour and 15 minutes” is the correct length of time allotted for the “worship hour PLUS].” No, my problem just now was that I was not able to locate the list of the elders immediately—of all things. Maybe, the site is really under construction. But I’ll check again at another time.]

Speaking moreover of the question about assembly time, let me just point out that the contemporary period is usually extended to no less than 1 hour and 15 minutes because the greater emphasis is on the “praise service” that the Praise Team is devoted to. Today there were 11 “praise musical” pieces that the Praise Team performed for the congregants—NONE from the extinction-bound hymns of the past. (Please don’t be misled by the titles of these praise musical pieces. Some of these pieces actually have the programmed “clap-clap” or “clap-clap-clap” embedded in them. By that I mean that a musical piece may specifically indicate WHEN the clapping is to occur. That’s sad and unfortunate. The Praise Team does a good job of leading this useless and annoying, unintelligible noise. Of course, there was one piece whose title is not misleading—“If You Miss Me.”)

Again, while the Praise Team exists, controversy will remain. It is really sad that true congregational singing is vanishing away—and it is very quickly vanishing away as the hymns are. It simply cannot be made up by the performance of the choir members. There’s just no way!!!</font>
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Joined: December 16th, 2007, 10:03 pm

December 16th, 2007, 10:27 pm #8

Just a quick question.

Dan noted, "At the same time, seeing it again made me realize afresh how trite and manipulative is the entire exercise of 'planning worship'."

My question is this...Whether it is a group of people (praise team) that plan the worship or an individual (i.e. song leader for that particular Sunday) doesn't planning take place in either situation?

The last time I checked, allowing the Holy Spirit to Direct the service without planning has not been done in the history of the churches of Christ.

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

December 17th, 2007, 8:52 am #9

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

Dan’s remark concerning his realization “how trite and manipulative is the entire exercise of ‘planning worship’” was clearly and accurately stated. Did you also note in the second paragraph the time when a “professional worship consultant” came to another author’s church to teach “the worship team how to fake the sincerity”?

I cannot help but agree that feigned worship is an excellent description of what occurs in the assembly when each praise team member holds a personal microphone and the “worship team” is ready to perform its rehearsed worship agenda.

The last time I checked, the assembly of the New Testament saints was simple—consisting of prayer, songs that were to teach and admonish, reading and studying of God’s word, observance of the Lord’s Supper. I do not find by command, by implication or by example that instrumental music or that the “worship leader” [man-designated to “lead the congregants into God’s holy presence”] or that the “worship team” [a.k.a. “praise team”] was ever employed in the assembly or gathering of the first century saints.

Considering the simplicity of the assembly as just described above, what is there to carefully plan and to rehearse and rehearse and then PERFORM the programmed worship? Of course, that’s not to say that we not “let all things be done decently and in order” (I Cor. 14:40). Neither should “worship” be made or programmed for TV, either.

I don’t believe the Scripture teaches that God’s Spirit directs “the service” at all. The holy Spirit of God does not direct or directly influence the individual Christian nor the congregation. The “Spirit is truth,” according to I John 5:6. It is the truth that is our directive.

You are correct and I agree with you in saying, “allowing the Holy Spirit to Direct the service without planning has not been done in the history of the churches of Christ.” The individual Christian is responsible for his/her own worship to God. If the Christian or the congregation does not worship the Father in spirit and in truth, that’s not the fault of God’s Spirit.

Thanks for the question.

Donnie</font>
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Chris
Chris

December 18th, 2007, 7:45 pm #10

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…
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