Friday, February 08, 2008

Quail Springs and Mark Henderson Get Written Up

If you're a member of the Churches of Christ, then you had to expect this would happen. But it still makes me sad and angry. I'm talking about what appears to be a full-page ad in "The Oklahoman," the state-wide newspaper, dated Wednesday, February 6, 2008.

What's all the fuss? As I mentioned in a previous post, the Quail Springs Church of Christ in Oklahoma City has added a Sunday service that includes instrumental music. So now, evidently, three preachers from non-instrumental churches are out to show that Mark Henderson, the preacher at Quail Springs, is more than wrong. According to them, he's a bad person.

The preachers libelously call Henderson "a false teacher." And they attempt to cover such ugliness with the cloak of religious obligation: "Pursuant to the Lord's instructions in Romans 16:17" they say, "congregations all across Oklahoma and Texas have marked" the Quail Springs preacher. They even include a photo of Henderson, as though their ridiculous ad were some sort of wanted poster. Of course, they challenge him to a public debate. And when Henderson refuses to take them up, they'll probably claim he's afraid to defend his position because he knows he's in the wrong.

Words fail me. I can't come up with something that would adequately express my disgust. (Actually, I probably can, but I'm not going to write it here). At any rate, I have to say that this makes me sick.

It is one thing to disagree with someone. But it is another thing for those who represent Christ to do something like this in public. On the one occasion when these "gospel preachers" had the opportunity to speak to an entire region, what was their message? An unwarranted attack on a brother in Christ.

Not to mention that the text of the ad is riddled with misapplication of Scripture. I think that will be the subject of my next post. Until then, if you've got the stomach for it, you can see the ad here. News articles that have appeared in "The Oklahoman" include the following:

"Quail Springs Church of Christ will add service with musical instruments" dated January 26, 2008.

"Instrument use strikes discord in area church," dated February 7.

11 comments:

Odgie said...

This sort of thing is why skeptics stay skeptical about religion. As you rightly observed Frank, these fellows blew their chance to send a meaningful message to their community. Sigh. I don't think that it will ever end.

JD said...

I'm with you Frank. How awful to smear the influence for Christ that we have with this mess. When our focus is on our navel rather than the lost of the world who need Jesus, this is the kind of religion we create for ourselves. Shameful.

Royce Ogle said...

This sort of spiritual immaturity in public display is one of the reasons churches of Christ are at best marginal in many communities.

I know without asking that those who are Bro' Henderson's detractors preach salvation by works and not by grace. According to Paul's stern warning in Galations they are the false teachers.

I would drve 100 miles one way on a Sunday to avoid a church led by these sort of zealots.

Royce Ogle

Dave Ramsey said...

With your vast learning and internet savviness, Frank, it's downright surprising you've only recently heard of the "World Convention of the Churches of Christ" (per your February 7 blog).

The FIRM FOUNDATION publicized the World Convention of the Churches of Christ at least as early as 1996. See http://www.bible-infonet.org/ff/articles/agents/111_12_15.htm .

Maybe what was needed, to make sure everybody knows, is a full-page ad in the OKLAHOMAN.

Frank Bellizzi said...

For those keeping score at home, what I said was "until recently, I had only heard of" the World Convention. That's not the same as "I've only recently heard of it."

About the World Convention, I did go to read J.E. Choate's response that appeared in the Firm Foundation, and wasn't surprised by the content. If not knowing much about the Convention is the result of not having read the tirades against it, then that's a blissful ingnorance.

Dave Ramsey said...

You're right, Frank. In purporting that you've "only recently heard" of the WCCC, I was clearly in error.

To expose to whole wide world my being in error, you should take out a full-page ad in the OKLAHOMAN.

Frank Bellizzi said...

Only if I can get churches to pay for it.

TREY MORGAN said...

Many have asked for the names of the churches who supposedly placed that ad ...

I find it interesting that they said they are unwilling to list the names of the faithful "churches of Christ" that placed that ad.

Wonder what that means?

Anonymous said...

Jesus died for us all that we might be drawn to Him. He rose from the dead so we could share His love that others might know Him as well. Whether you agree with instruments in church or not, our main focus as followers of Christ is to be a light in the darkness that surrounds us. The apostle Paul said it best, "I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some." One of the reasons the process of worship was not brought up in the new testament is that the focus was on Christ and installing a new way of knowing God. Jesus built on what was laid down in the Old Testament...He didn't do away with it. That, however is not the point. How is this ad being a light in the darkness?

Leland V said...

I think 1 John 2:11 applies to the group who placed the ad. In many ways I am angered by such, but also have pity for the darkness in which they live, all the while believing it is the Light.

Stoned-Campbell Disciple said...

Well said.

Seeking Shalom,
Bobby V