Why Church doesn't work

Joined: July 8th, 2011, 5:02 am

July 8th, 2011, 6:12 am #1

I went to Madison in the Steve Flatt era, and I have visited again after the split a few weeks ago. I went to the second service and I must say that it was not what I remembered. I have visited several other Churches of Christ and have seen the clapping and choirs drowning out everyone else other places as well.

I grew up Church of Christ, went to C of C college and now don't know exactly what I believe anymore. But I do know that Madison isn't Madison anymore. And the church isn't united. How many denominations can there be? How many times will the church fracture? If you wonder why kids can't pray in school and why homosexuals can adopt children, it is because the people that say they believe in God can't agree on anything.

I personally feel church is a place to worship. I think to much money goes into buildings, sound systems, production, and bribing people to come. It should go in to feeding the homeless, helping the widows, missions, and disaster aid. While I know money goes to these things, I see it being a fraction of what the church brings in.

But having said that, I see Madison Church now as a Benny Hinn show.

Science in public school is teaching children that the world is billions of years old and that we are related to apes. That the "Big Bag" caused our universe to come from nothing and that it is ever expanding. The Bible is a man made book used to control people, and put together years after Christ death.

So all I am saying is the world is getting an ever more convincing argument, and the Church of Christ is fighting amongst itself over semantics. If the church is of God, then what I have read here of Madison's problems could have been worked out. I don't get why people that love each other as christians would split. If I knew that it would offend someone I loved to clap, I wouldn't. If I thought a bunch of people out singing the rest of the church in mics was going to cause a split I would not do it. I don't get how it got to that point. But you can't have 2 services that believe 2 different things, it just looks bad.

I will do what I have been doing since I quit religion, read the Bible, learn about scientific theory, and try to see if and how they can fit together. I haven't seen to many classes at churches that tackle this issue.

From what I do know of the bible, Jesus had the apostles go out and teach the word, not have a big entertainment production. The church is now a reflection of the world and not Jesus. Mark 6:6-13 Matthew 10:13-15 Luke 9:4-6 and so on.

None of this is good for the church, and while I don't care to go, I think it is a good thing for some people.
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Dave
Dave

July 8th, 2011, 1:19 pm #2

C, quoting you last line "None of this is good for the church, and while I don't care to go, I think it is a good thing for some people," it seems that there doesn't have to be a problem with your preferred style of worship.
C, seeing that you don't prefer the clapping and praise teams, why did you go to the second service and not the more traditional first service? It isn't a matter of not being united, it is a matter of meeting needs. You didn't even mention the first service....why not? Knowing your preferences, doesn't it make sense that you would try the first service? Donnie does what you do (go to second service even though he prefers the traditional first service) because he is concernedmember's church reporter. He has to be there and to know all the good stories about how many women are in the praise team this week, and if they stood or sat, raised holy hands, clapped and raised holy hands, etc.

The startling look with your last sentence is that you wouldn't care to go to church at all. It doesn't even have to be Madison.
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

July 9th, 2011, 1:13 am #3

Dave, if C should disagree with you about anything, is he "cursed"? Is he "wrong"? Will he have "sinned"? Does he need to "repent"? Again, will he be guilty of all those things, if he disagrees with you about anything? I just wanted to prepare C about what to expect, should he choose to have a "meaningful discussion" with you. But C will learn all about that in due course.

BTW, C, I can completely sympathize with your position.
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R*
R*

July 9th, 2011, 1:44 am #4

I went to Madison in the Steve Flatt era, and I have visited again after the split a few weeks ago. I went to the second service and I must say that it was not what I remembered. I have visited several other Churches of Christ and have seen the clapping and choirs drowning out everyone else other places as well.

I grew up Church of Christ, went to C of C college and now don't know exactly what I believe anymore. But I do know that Madison isn't Madison anymore. And the church isn't united. How many denominations can there be? How many times will the church fracture? If you wonder why kids can't pray in school and why homosexuals can adopt children, it is because the people that say they believe in God can't agree on anything.

I personally feel church is a place to worship. I think to much money goes into buildings, sound systems, production, and bribing people to come. It should go in to feeding the homeless, helping the widows, missions, and disaster aid. While I know money goes to these things, I see it being a fraction of what the church brings in.

But having said that, I see Madison Church now as a Benny Hinn show.

Science in public school is teaching children that the world is billions of years old and that we are related to apes. That the "Big Bag" caused our universe to come from nothing and that it is ever expanding. The Bible is a man made book used to control people, and put together years after Christ death.

So all I am saying is the world is getting an ever more convincing argument, and the Church of Christ is fighting amongst itself over semantics. If the church is of God, then what I have read here of Madison's problems could have been worked out. I don't get why people that love each other as christians would split. If I knew that it would offend someone I loved to clap, I wouldn't. If I thought a bunch of people out singing the rest of the church in mics was going to cause a split I would not do it. I don't get how it got to that point. But you can't have 2 services that believe 2 different things, it just looks bad.

I will do what I have been doing since I quit religion, read the Bible, learn about scientific theory, and try to see if and how they can fit together. I haven't seen to many classes at churches that tackle this issue.

From what I do know of the bible, Jesus had the apostles go out and teach the word, not have a big entertainment production. The church is now a reflection of the world and not Jesus. Mark 6:6-13 Matthew 10:13-15 Luke 9:4-6 and so on.

None of this is good for the church, and while I don't care to go, I think it is a good thing for some people.
Hey "C", there are lots of Churches of Christ in Nashville. I am sure there is one to suit your preferences. No need to be sour all your life. Find one and be happy!
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Joined: January 2nd, 2005, 6:45 am

July 9th, 2011, 8:39 am #5

C, quoting you last line "None of this is good for the church, and while I don't care to go, I think it is a good thing for some people," it seems that there doesn't have to be a problem with your preferred style of worship.
C, seeing that you don't prefer the clapping and praise teams, why did you go to the second service and not the more traditional first service? It isn't a matter of not being united, it is a matter of meeting needs. You didn't even mention the first service....why not? Knowing your preferences, doesn't it make sense that you would try the first service? Donnie does what you do (go to second service even though he prefers the traditional first service) because he is concernedmember's church reporter. He has to be there and to know all the good stories about how many women are in the praise team this week, and if they stood or sat, raised holy hands, clapped and raised holy hands, etc.

The startling look with your last sentence is that you wouldn't care to go to church at all. It doesn't even have to be Madison.
[color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]Dave,

I hope you are really aware that there is someone else (aside from me) who is daring to convey truth and realism concerning the Madison congregation. That being the case, I also hope that such truth and reality, as expressed by "another reporter," will be acceptable to you this time. When time allows it, I will be "dissecting" C's remarkable assertions.

(Meanwhile, I would urge you to refrain from your continual expressions of condemnation against me and now ... against C.)

You have the habit of characterizing any church issue as being a matter of "preference." No, it isn't. "No clapping" as a preference was not mentioned by the writer who, instead, said: "If I knew that it would offend someone I loved to clap, I wouldn't." As I've explained numerous times before, it's about one's concern about the other being offended.

I still go to the second assembly period because I had been doing that -- way before the change agents arrived and hijacked that time slot. Prior to the change agents' intrusion, the two assembly times were both "traditional" by today's designations. C may have had the same reason. But I don't think you should question the plan and be suspicious of the motive.

I strongly disagree with your placing more importance to "meeting the needs" than to "unity" in the body of believers. The congregation was certainly meeting its needs when there were 3,000 members in attendance from both assembly periods. Know what? Your version of "meeting the needs" actually resulted in half of the membership leaving.

By the way, Dave, I don't have to know the number of women "in the praise team this week." All I know is that there are WOMEN co-leading in the "musical worship." As if ... the "worship leader" really needed assistance, right, Dave? You need to know this: Brent Whitworth is very talented and capable of leading singing without the assistance of other men and WOMEN co-leaders.

Funny, it happened. I had expected and waited for you to be the first responder. You did it -- but that's just fine.[/color]
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Joined: July 8th, 2011, 5:02 am

July 9th, 2011, 2:33 pm #6

C, quoting you last line "None of this is good for the church, and while I don't care to go, I think it is a good thing for some people," it seems that there doesn't have to be a problem with your preferred style of worship.
C, seeing that you don't prefer the clapping and praise teams, why did you go to the second service and not the more traditional first service? It isn't a matter of not being united, it is a matter of meeting needs. You didn't even mention the first service....why not? Knowing your preferences, doesn't it make sense that you would try the first service? Donnie does what you do (go to second service even though he prefers the traditional first service) because he is concernedmember's church reporter. He has to be there and to know all the good stories about how many women are in the praise team this week, and if they stood or sat, raised holy hands, clapped and raised holy hands, etc.

The startling look with your last sentence is that you wouldn't care to go to church at all. It doesn't even have to be Madison.
As I said, I hadn't been to Madison in over 12 or 13 years. I was already turned off by Madison during vision 2000 where the church went in to way to much debt which I thought at the time wasn't biblical.

As for my service preference, I don't care what people do as long as they as a unit all believe the same thing, clap, dance, run down the isles handling snakes, wearing flip flops to do the lord's supper etc. I was only stating the observation of unity, and from the service I saw, the entire balcony was empty and I never remember that ever.

I won't split hairs about clapping or a praise team because my questions about church and God run much deeper and bigger.

If the earth is 6-7000 years old, how is the light from a star 5 million light years away hitting my eye?

When did the dinosaurs live?

How did the Israelites worship a golden calf when God delivered them out of Egypt, with plagues, splitting the red sea, hovering in a cloud of fire over their head, sending food out of the sky for them? I don't get that, I would believe 100% without doubt if that were me, yet most took part in the making of the cow. That makes no sense. We don't get any of that and are expected to believe and they didn't when God was in their presence.

Does the church believe in any type of evolution?

etc...

So when I feel comfortable about some of these questions, I might be ready to move on to whether a praise team is good or not. I was just making an observation as an outsider looking in that knew some previous history. When I looked up more info on Madison I found this site. But I am not a traditionalist believer or a liberal believer, I am a confused person trying to find God and when the places you go to find answers is confused as well it adds to more confusion.
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Dave
Dave

July 9th, 2011, 3:07 pm #7

I went to Madison in the Steve Flatt era, and I have visited again after the split a few weeks ago. I went to the second service and I must say that it was not what I remembered. I have visited several other Churches of Christ and have seen the clapping and choirs drowning out everyone else other places as well.

I grew up Church of Christ, went to C of C college and now don't know exactly what I believe anymore. But I do know that Madison isn't Madison anymore. And the church isn't united. How many denominations can there be? How many times will the church fracture? If you wonder why kids can't pray in school and why homosexuals can adopt children, it is because the people that say they believe in God can't agree on anything.

I personally feel church is a place to worship. I think to much money goes into buildings, sound systems, production, and bribing people to come. It should go in to feeding the homeless, helping the widows, missions, and disaster aid. While I know money goes to these things, I see it being a fraction of what the church brings in.

But having said that, I see Madison Church now as a Benny Hinn show.

Science in public school is teaching children that the world is billions of years old and that we are related to apes. That the "Big Bag" caused our universe to come from nothing and that it is ever expanding. The Bible is a man made book used to control people, and put together years after Christ death.

So all I am saying is the world is getting an ever more convincing argument, and the Church of Christ is fighting amongst itself over semantics. If the church is of God, then what I have read here of Madison's problems could have been worked out. I don't get why people that love each other as christians would split. If I knew that it would offend someone I loved to clap, I wouldn't. If I thought a bunch of people out singing the rest of the church in mics was going to cause a split I would not do it. I don't get how it got to that point. But you can't have 2 services that believe 2 different things, it just looks bad.

I will do what I have been doing since I quit religion, read the Bible, learn about scientific theory, and try to see if and how they can fit together. I haven't seen to many classes at churches that tackle this issue.

From what I do know of the bible, Jesus had the apostles go out and teach the word, not have a big entertainment production. The church is now a reflection of the world and not Jesus. Mark 6:6-13 Matthew 10:13-15 Luke 9:4-6 and so on.

None of this is good for the church, and while I don't care to go, I think it is a good thing for some people.
Donnie, thanks for waiting on me to respond. As they say, patience is a virtue. Donnie, you quoted C and I will also "If I knew that it would offend someone I loved to clap, I wouldn't."

How about the person that wants total quiet and silence, yet he offends the person who wants to show their joy by clapping and saying "amen" and lifting holy hands? Two people sit beside each other. The one person who believes that they show their joy and love to God by the physical acts that I mentioned, and the other one who wants total awe and respect through silence.

Who offends who?

Neither if you have two separate services.....one for each type of people.
God is praised and both brothers/sisters are praising God with like-minded people.
Wonderful, ain't it?
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Joined: January 2nd, 2005, 6:45 am

July 9th, 2011, 10:16 pm #8

[color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]Dave,

I appreciate your approach to a civil discussion of this particular thread.

In regard to this [one] topic regarding clapping and the question of who offends whom, no one is saying here that it is wrong or sinful in itself. This issue, therefore, rests upon the situation, environment and circumstances surrounding this controversial matter in "conservative" churches, including conservative denominational groups. Let me say unequivocally that an issue, major or minor, is wrong and becomes sinful if/when it causes division in the church.

1. Churches of Christ are not known for programmed rhythmic handclapping and body gyrations during congregational singing. [So are certain conservative denominational religious bodies.]

2. Charismatic/Pentecostal churches are unquestionably into this cheerleading aspect of "worship" -- and some are even into "religious dancing" as a part of their ceremonial "'Divine' Worship."

3. Handclapping is not necessarily an expression of "joy" especially when it produces a thunderous popping NOISE that makes the unexpecting/expecting elderly to jump out of their skin. Rather, the popping noise of handclapping is usually what you would expect during a sporting event or a rock band concert.

4. Even at Madison, while rhythmic handclapping is usually minimal and/but is exacerbated at the signaling motion from the "'youthful' Worship Leader" PLUS/or the ensampling by the Praise Team, it is done by only a few attendees. I can only suppose that clapping contributed a minor role in the departure of members from Madison. (There were more important or major issues that the congregation had to deal with during the upheaval.)

5. Big question: To the one that performs "rhythmic handclapping" [and swaying and gyrations] during singing in the gathering, does he/she do the same when all alone or does the show stop?

6. Unrehearsed "JOY" can be expressed with or without handclapping. What we see from a few that clap is a Charismatic imitation -- I can confidently say that.

7. Based on the history of churches of Christ being a non-clapping body of believers in reverential worship, it is MORE of clapping being offensive to non-clappers THAN of non-clapping being offensive to the charismatic NOISE makers.[/color]
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Joined: January 2nd, 2005, 6:45 am

July 10th, 2011, 4:00 am #9

As I said, I hadn't been to Madison in over 12 or 13 years. I was already turned off by Madison during vision 2000 where the church went in to way to much debt which I thought at the time wasn't biblical.

As for my service preference, I don't care what people do as long as they as a unit all believe the same thing, clap, dance, run down the isles handling snakes, wearing flip flops to do the lord's supper etc. I was only stating the observation of unity, and from the service I saw, the entire balcony was empty and I never remember that ever.

I won't split hairs about clapping or a praise team because my questions about church and God run much deeper and bigger.

If the earth is 6-7000 years old, how is the light from a star 5 million light years away hitting my eye?

When did the dinosaurs live?

How did the Israelites worship a golden calf when God delivered them out of Egypt, with plagues, splitting the red sea, hovering in a cloud of fire over their head, sending food out of the sky for them? I don't get that, I would believe 100% without doubt if that were me, yet most took part in the making of the cow. That makes no sense. We don't get any of that and are expected to believe and they didn't when God was in their presence.

Does the church believe in any type of evolution?

etc...

So when I feel comfortable about some of these questions, I might be ready to move on to whether a praise team is good or not. I was just making an observation as an outsider looking in that knew some previous history. When I looked up more info on Madison I found this site. But I am not a traditionalist believer or a liberal believer, I am a confused person trying to find God and when the places you go to find answers is confused as well it adds to more confusion.
[color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]Jon,

Thank you for honestly and sincerely bringing to the table a number of religious/doctrinal (as well as scientific or cultural) issues that confront many Christians even today. I hope that these issues will be discussed civilly and sensibly.

See if my recollection of this "project," Vision 2000, is accurate.

I'm not going to explain much about the methodology that change agents use in their attempt to transform or convert (esp. "mega") congregations of the church of Christ into Community Churches. But we know about the process that involves subtlety and gradualism {familiar with the "boiling the frog" story?). We also know about applying the Rick Warren (of the Saddleback Community Church in CA) culture-driven scheme to "grow the church."

Unbeknownst to me, until I came across this website [also], was the fact that the Change Movement was already "work in progress" (so subtle and gradual) at Madison in the decade of the 1990s. (You can probably explain better than I can what the project Vision 2000 was actually designed for. I'm sure that certain readers will be more receptive and credulous to your account or perspective and observations.)

The point I'm trying to make is that Vision 2000 was actually initiated a few years prior to the "unexpected" upheaval in 2001. And the congregation just had a "debt-free" celebration a few weeks ago -- in 2011.

Perhaps many folks have forgotten that this wasn't meant to be a more-than-a-decade (14-year?) long period of anxiety and painstaking effort to being debt-free. A combination of factors should explain why such an extended delay in resolving the financial issue.

Statistical data from a number of researches reveals that traditional members (older folks and widows) are more generous givers than are contemporary adherents. Coupled with that is the fact that dwindling membership (generally or caused by division) with a diminished budget can be attributed to a reduced collection of funds.[/color]
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Joined: July 8th, 2011, 5:02 am

July 10th, 2011, 2:59 pm #10

Donnie, thanks for waiting on me to respond. As they say, patience is a virtue. Donnie, you quoted C and I will also "If I knew that it would offend someone I loved to clap, I wouldn't."

How about the person that wants total quiet and silence, yet he offends the person who wants to show their joy by clapping and saying "amen" and lifting holy hands? Two people sit beside each other. The one person who believes that they show their joy and love to God by the physical acts that I mentioned, and the other one who wants total awe and respect through silence.

Who offends who?

Neither if you have two separate services.....one for each type of people.
God is praised and both brothers/sisters are praising God with like-minded people.
Wonderful, ain't it?
I did like it when there was clapping after a baptism, that is something that always bothered me growing up. Someone getting saved and everyone just sitting and looking as the angels in heaven are celebrating.
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