Issue #476 -------
February 18, 2011
He sees a louse as far away as China,
but not the elephant on his own nose.
Let me begin this particular issue of Reflections by once again affirming my deep love for the vast majority of my brothers and sisters within the One Cup fellowship of our faith-heritage (Churches of Christ). Although I don't share their conviction regarding the cup (or Bible classes, for that matter), nevertheless I respect them for their desire to live by what they truly believe to be God's will. The vast majority of these people are good, decent, spiritually-minded individuals who have absolutely no desire to forever condemn to "a fiery hell" all of those persons who happen to embrace convictions that differ from their own. A good many of these brethren regard me as their beloved brother, even though we do not share the same preferences and practices, and I regard them in the same way. We both accept the premise that we do not have to be identical twins in order to be intimate brethren. I have sought to stress this truth repeatedly over the years in my writings and public speaking engagements, and would refer you to the following as just one example: Reflections #330 -- The One Cup Fellowship: Reflection on a Conviction.
As I indicated within that study, and as I have also indicated elsewhere, my concern is not with the attitudes of the rank and file of this segment of our historical movement, but rather with the attitudes and the actions of those rigid, rabid religionists who have appointed themselves lords over this little flock, and who, by their tyranny and deceit, have kept some good people ignorant of the freedom in Christ that could be theirs for the taking. These power hungry men have huddled themselves together under the protective cover of an organization known as The Old Paths Advocate, which is much more than just a publication: it is actually a state of mind that seeks to impose itself upon others and intimidate any and all who dare to differ with it. I have exposed the attitudes and actions of these leaders (citing their own writings and correspondence) time and again in these weekly Reflections, and links to those articles will be provided during the course of this present study. It is not uncommon for both individuals and congregations to be hounded and harassed for "crossing the line" drawn in the sand by the party leaders, and I have received personal testimonies from a great many of these persons over the years! Thankfully, the good people of the One Cup fellowship are growing increasingly sick of these men, and they are rising up and speaking out against them! Ministers, elders, and even entire congregations are declaring their freedom from such godless tyranny, and are at last daring to explore the joys of freedom in Christ and the blessings of a wider fellowship with spiritual siblings they were previously told to avoid and condemn. They are breaking the chains that have bound them far too long, and I applaud these brave pioneers of God's Grace who are seeking to lift themselves out of sectarian factionalism and into the warm embrace of a spiritual Family more than willing to welcome them. I have personally counseled with a number of devout ministers within the One Cup brotherhood on this matter, and am thrilled at the progress being made by these beloved brethren. I firmly believe that we are no more than a generation away from witnessing the demise of the OPA tyranny over the One Cup fellowship in Churches of Christ. Frankly, that blessed day cannot come soon enough!!
Lest some of you might be thinking (as I feel rather sure some of you are) that my statements of disgust for these leaders are "overblown," let me share with you one of their more recent attacks against a congregation that has dared to "cross the party line." The One Cup congregation currently under assault is located on 108 W. Grauwyler Road in Irving, Texas. The main frontal assault of this attack has come in the form of a 46 page tract written by George Battey, who is the preacher for the One Cup congregation in Seminole, Oklahoma. Those who would like to receive a hard copy of this tract can write to Mr. Battey at -- firstname.lastname@example.org -- or you can find a copy of it online at -- Crossing the Line: What's Wrong With The Irving Church? I would strongly encourage you ... indeed, I would plead with you ... to read this tract for yourself in its entirety. Please, DO NOT base your conclusions on what I say alone -- check it out to determine if my assessment is a valid one. That is only fair to all involved. I wrote George Battey for a copy of his tract, and he sent me one immediately at no charge, even though I told him in my email that I intended to write a Reflections on it! I had previously printed out a copy from his above referenced web site, and had studied it pretty carefully (which I had done at the request of several within the One Cup fellowship, one of whom wrote, "MANY will thank you if you do a rebuttal of this booklet").
George Battey, in his tract/booklet, has clearly declared himself to be a proponent of the CENI hermeneutic (with its attendant "Law of Silence") and of a very rigid Patternism with respect to the practices of the church. I believe both to be not only utterly false, but two of the greatest atrocities to ever beset the Body of Christ. This hermeneutical approach, and the legalistic patternism that has evolved from it, have brought untold confusion, pain and division to the Body of Christ! And yet, hardened legalists persist in their promotion of both. Battey wrote, "The Bible clearly teaches silence is prohibitive" [p. 4], and "The Bible clearly teaches God gave a divine pattern for worship, and changes to this divine pattern render the worship as vain worship" [p. 5]. Actually, the Bible teaches no such thing!! I have written extensively on both of these matters, and I invite Mr. Battey to show me precisely and specifically, point-by-point, where my in-depth refutation of these falsehoods has missed the mark exegetically. My Topical Index contains the links to 29 Reflections articles on "Patternism" and 27 Reflections articles on the so-called "Law of Silence." I've abundantly demonstrated the fallacy of these teachings, and I've invited the legalists time and time again to show me where I'm wrong. They refuse to do so. I have also invited them to "provide the specifics of this pattern" that they claim is so essential for salvation and fellowship. They refuse to do so -- which I have documented in 6 Reflections articles under the heading "Requesting Legalism's List" on the "Topical Index" page. I invite Mr. Battey to attempt what none of his fellow legalists have yet been willing to accomplish, and what I have been asking of them for over 30 years!! George has further declared, "Many passages teach that God's silence alone is sufficient to forbid an action or doctrine" [p. 25]. I hereby challenge Mr. Battey to provide me a list of those passages. The reality is: there is not a single sentence anywhere in the Bible that teaches this doctrine. I already know the passages George will try to use, and I have dealt with every one of them in great depth in the dozens of articles mentioned above. Unless George has found some new verse, I would ask him to show me where my analysis of each of those passages is wrong. Mr. Battey says that the Irving leaders "refuse the Bible's teaching that silence forbids" [p. 37]. No, George, these fine brethren and I, and most other responsible biblical scholars, refuse the legalists' teaching that silence forbids. The BIBLE teaches no such thing.
"The Irving church has tampered with the worship" [p. 6]. There you have it. The ultimate apostasy!! They have "crossed the line" -- they have dared to "mess with" the Sunday morning "worship service" (a phrase never found in the NT writings, by the way). The fires of hell await such godless spawn of Satan. God will set them ablaze and torture them for umpteen zillion years ... and then do it some more!! Why? What was their sin? What did this group of believers do that was so horrible? Well, according to George Battey, the list of their soul-damning sins is a rather long one. In fact, he lists thirty-five such sins in this booklet. I will list many of them in this review, but for those who might wish to see them all (if you believe you have the stomach for it) I would suggest obtaining a copy of this tract from the author. Okay, brethren, please make sure you are seated! Take a deep breath!! Prepare yourself to be absolutely horrified at the depths of demonic depravity into which these people in Irving, Texas have plunged! You will gasp!! Your breathing will become labored! The weak of heart may actually faint dead away! No, this is not a pretty sight. Are you ready? Here we go!! Following are some of the horrendous abominations of these apostates. May God have mercy on their pitiful souls.
ONE --- On November 4, 2001, Duane Fancher (who had just been appointed as one of the elders of this congregation in Irving), "asked the entire congregation to stand and recite Psalm 23 together during the Sunday morning assembly" [p. 6]. That's right!! You heard me!! These people had the audacity to stand together as a congregation and recite together the words of the 23rd Psalm. I'm surprised God didn't strike them all dead on the spot!! The OPA faithful were stunned by such sinfulness. They sought to confirm whether the rumor of this action was true. In a letter written by the Irving congregation's elders (dated November 7, 2004), these men affirmed their "digression," stating shamelessly, "This accusation is true."
So, what exactly was their sin? Mr. Battey explains -- 1 Cor. 14:31 states that "men are to speak one at a time to one audience in every assembly conducted by the church," and that "every member speaking simultaneously to recite Psalm 23 is a direct violation of this rule" [p. 6]. Hmmm ... well, we can only hope two men don't decide to "Amen" the preacher during his sermon at the same time! ... deciding which one to disfellowship might require the wisdom of Solomon!! Oh, by the way, verse 26 says, "When you assemble, each one has a psalm..." Since "speaking simultaneously" is a sin, what about the presenting of your psalm? Is this authorizing a solo?! After all, Paul says that we are to "speak to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs" (Eph. 5:19). Does this mean one at a time? Or, may this "speaking" of a "psalm" be done in unison by the whole congregation? Ahhhh. I see. It is okay to recite out loud the 23rd Psalm if we add a melody, but if we speak the words without melody, then we are sinning. Wow!! These "worship rules" get complicated, don't they?! But, Battey is not done: "Women must remain silent in all assemblies conducted by the church. Asking women to recite Psalm 23 in a church assembly is a direct violation of this rule" [p. 6]. Would it be alright with Jesus and God, Mr. Battey, if women sing the words of this psalm?! But, wait ... Paul said that we "teach and admonish one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs" (Col. 3:16). Now, let me see, women aren't allowed to teach the men in the assembly, but they can teach them if they add melody to a psalm, but if they just recite the psalm then they will go to hell. Whew!! I need an aspirin!!
TWO --- On June 3, 2007, the preacher at Irving, TX (Steve Orten), at some point during the course of his Sunday morning sermon, invited some of the children of that congregation "to come up onto the pulpit stage and act out a skit" [p. 7]. Hmmm. Maybe the preacher just quoted the words of Jesus ("Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them" -- Mark 10:14), and the children misunderstood and came up on stage!! Okay, maybe not. However, Jesus did, on occasion, call a child over and place that child before those to whom He was speaking, and He would use the child as an aid to His message. Nevertheless, all these kids in Irving, TX were "out of order" that Sunday morning. Why?! Because, "the Lord does not authorize a theatrical performance by children during worship services" [p. 7]. Of course, there is nothing in the inspired NT text authorizing a "worship service," either! George states, "The Lord must authorize everything taught and practiced (Col. 3:17)" [p. 7]. George also states, "Bible silence forbids such practices (2 John 9)" [p. 7]. Mr. Battey obviously doesn't have a clue what these two passages actually teach, yet he lists them both as the justification for nearly every one of his condemnations of the Irving congregation. I would urge George to carefully and prayerfully consider my following two in-depth studies of these passages, and then write me and refute my arguments from the Scriptures point-by-point, if he can: Reflections #325 -- An Attitude of Gratitude: A Reflective Study of Col. 3:17 and Reflections #84 -- The Doctrine of Christ: The Use and Abuse of 2 John 9-11.
THREE --- "On several occasions, the brother waiting on the table preaches to the audience while serving Communion" [p. 7]. Mr. Battey is apparently referring to a practice common in many congregations, where a person will do a brief talk (often known as a "Communion Meditation") in conjunction with the observance of the Lord's Supper. I have dealt with this practice in Reflections #349 -- Lord's Supper Meditations: Communion Commentary Concerns. Without question, there are some legitimate concerns that can be associated with this practice. However, when presented with a sensitivity for the feelings of those present, there is no reason these can't be very spiritually effective.
FOUR --- Members of the Irving congregation are known to have actually clapped their hands on occasion during the Sunday morning "worship service." Why is this wrong? Because, "handclapping is equivalent to percussion instruments of music" [p. 8]. I would urge Mr. Battey to examine my study of this, and to refute it if he can: Reflections #139 -- Applause in the Assembly: Ultra-Liberalism's "Strange Fire."
FIVE --- Okay, friends, hold on to your hats! This one is a doozy!! "The speaker says, 'Good morning,' to the audience, and the audience responds back, 'Good morning'" [p. 9]. Wow! How the angels of heaven must be weeping and wailing over this one!! So, what is the soul-damning sin in this?! You guessed it -- "Women must remain silent in all assemblies conducted by the church. Allowing women to respond verbally to the speaker in the pulpit is a direct violation of this rule" [p. 9]. Good Grief. Are you ready to vomit yet? If not, you will be soon.
SIX --- "Digressives" are actually allowed into the building of the Irving congregation. Ryan Conner preached a sermon at Irving, and ... get this ... he was an active member of the White's Ferry Road Church of Christ in Monroe, Louisiana (which Mr. George Battey has declared to be "a digressive church"). Gary Fancher is a member of the Irving congregation, but had previously "worshipped with a digressive church." He has not been forced to go before the congregation and make "an admission of wrongdoing" and ask for "prayers for forgiveness" [p. 10]. And then to hammer the final nail into the coffin of this congregation: they showed a Rick Atchley video to the members of the congregation. Oh my goodness!! Weren't these leaders aware that Rick and Satan are first cousins?!! Rick and I had breakfast together last year in Tulsa, and his horns and tail were clearly visible to me!
Now, you have got to hear this; it is critical to salvation: the Irving congregation advertised a gospel meeting that was being held at another congregation in the local area ... a digressive congregation!! And they even encouraged their members to attend this meeting. I know, I know ... my head is still reeling! And just what made this other congregation apostate? That's right!! "Digressive churches use individual cups and have Bible classes" [p. 11]. Hard to believe, I know, but these offspring of the devil actually conducted Bible classes at their building!! And drinking from more than one cup?!! What would possess these people to blaspheme their God in this manner?! Whew!! Don't these heathen know that "faithful congregations have rejected Bible classes" [p. 13]? After all, "Bible classes violate every rule" of the Scriptures [p. 13]. Oh yes, lest I forget, the Irving church held a VBS, and we all know that "there is no essential difference between this arrangement and digressive Bible classes" [p. 15]. George further clarifies what constitutes an "approved" congregation (i.e., one that is not "digressive"): "A faithful congregation uses one loaf, one cup, and has no instruments of music" [p. 39].
SEVEN --- On page 16 of his booklet, George Battey shares with us an eternal truth -- "In all public situations, God intended that men lead while women silently listen and learn." Frankly, I think we ought to just tape their mouths shut the moment they enter the building!! Right?! In fact, I'm a bit concerned that they're allowed to sit on the pews next to us (as if they were our equals), rather than on the floor at our feet. By the way, according to George, women aren't ever allowed to speak in the church building even when there are only women present!! "They were still public assemblies and women were teaching Scriptures publicly" [p. 17]. Battey was talking about a Women's Retreat that the Irving congregation held in 2010 (and to make matters worse, they actually showed a Beth Moore video at the retreat -- amazing that the earth didn't open up and swallow them all). "No men were present to teach at this Women's Retreat, and women are not permitted to teach the Scriptures in any public capacity" [p. 17]. So, let me see if I've got this right -- MEN are supposed to be the teachers at a WOMEN'S retreat, and the women are just supposed to sit there with their mouths clamped tightly shut and learn from their masters!! I would urge George to read my following study: Reflections #257 -- Godless Retreats for Women: Legalistic Patternism Strikes Again.
EIGHT --- Oh, those clever women in Irving. They thought they could pull a fast one on old George. They were wrong. A woman by the name of Laura Maddox used sign language to convey the preacher's message to those in the audience who were deaf. That old serpent Satan is a clever rascal, isn't he?!! But, he didn't fool Mr. Battey! Nope, not for an instant. "Using sign language is equivalent to speaking; therefore, this is a case of a woman speaking in the assembly of the church -- a direct violation of the rules for all assemblies conducted by the church" [p. 18].
NINE --- Legalistic patternists are very strong believers in salvation by works, knowledge and command keeping. Thus, any person who even hints at salvation by grace through faith is immediately suspect. George Battey is convinced that the church in Irving has gone Calvinistic and teaches salvation by faith only. They do not, of course, but that doesn't stop George from continuing to claim that they do!! On page 23 of his brief booklet, George makes this statement, "Faith itself is called a 'work' by Jesus in John 6:29." Clearly, Mr. Battey is engaging in some misguided "proof-texting," and is only showing his ignorance of the true meaning of the text. I would suggest he read the following studies and then get back to me with a thorough refutation of the points I make therein (although I won't be holding my breath waiting for that to actually occur): Reflections #39 -- Traditional Proof-Texts for Works-Based Salvation and Reflections #161 -- Working the Works of God: Does Jesus Teach Faith as a Work? A Reflective Analysis of John 6:28-29.
TEN --- On page 23 of his tract, George Battey expresses his intense concern that in 2004 one of the elders at Irving, Duane Fancher, expressed the view that the congregation could refill the one cup used in the Communion as often as needed to serve a large gathering of believers on a Sunday morning. George believes this to be heresy. "The pattern given by Jesus to the church is as follows: One cup containing fruit of the vine; one prayer over the one cup; all members are commanded to drink from that one cup" [p. 23]. Therefore, to ever refill this cup would be a soul-damning SIN. George queries, "May the church use another loaf if the first loaf 'runs out'? Certainly not" [p. 23]! I dealt with this very issue almost four years ago in Reflections #313 -- Odd Paths Advocate: The Refilled Cup Heresy and Maxey's Liberal Lunacy. It might do Battey some good to reexamine what was said in that study.
ELEVEN --- Jim Crouch, of the Irving congregation, is taken to task by Mr. Battey, and accused of misrepresenting Truth, because he dared to "announce he is 'ashamed' of his heritage in the one-cup brotherhood, and taught that Daniel Sommer divided the church over instrumental music" [p. 23]. I seriously doubt that Jim Crouch is ashamed of his heritage as much as he is ashamed of what it has become at the hands of the OPA leaders. That sense of shame can be a positive thing if it leads to some responsible change. As for the role of Daniel Sommer in the division that plagued our movement, I deal with that in some depth in Reflections #213 -- Daniel Sommer: Father of Ultra-Conservative Church of Christ Watchdogism.
TWELVE --- In January, 2004, a woman who was suffering from cancer came forward during the Sunday morning assembly and requested that the elders of the congregation pray for her and anoint her with oil, which the elders decided to do. George protests that "there is no example in Scripture of anointing with oil during worship services" [p. 24]. By anointing this woman with oil, these elders declared their "belief in modern-day miracles" ... and taught that "miracles are still possible today," which "constitutes 'another gospel' not taught by the apostles" [p. 24]. Actually, it is the legalistic perceptions and practices of men like Mr. Battey that more nearly describe what Paul meant by that phrase, as I've pointed out in Reflections #215 -- Embracing Another Gospel: Analyzing Apostolic Authorial Intent in the Admonition of Galatians 1:6-9. As for what the responsibilities of elders are when faced with how best to understand and apply this admonition to them in James' epistle, I would refer Mr. Battey to a very careful and prayerful study of Reflections #76 -- Elders, Prayer and Oil: A Study of James 5:14-15 and Reflections #78 -- Pastoral Prayer and Anointing: Present Perspectives Among Presbyters Regarding the Relevance of James 5:14. The latter article is especially helpful as it shares the perspectives on this issue of a number of elders throughout the church, and shows how they have dealt with similar requests from members. I have personally faced this very situation here, and my fellow elders and I chose to anoint the woman and pray for her.
THIRTEEN --- With regard to the frequency of participation by disciples in the Lord's Supper, "Tony Taylor (one of the deacons) taught, with the approval of the elders, that the Lord's Supper 'may have been in smaller groups' than the general assembly with all the members together, and 'it may have been more frequently than what we do it' -- i.e., more frequently than the first day of the week" [p. 26]. Yes, the practice of disciples 2000 years ago on the opposite side of the planet in a vastly different culture may well have been somewhat different than our own practice today. If the purpose of this event is maintained, and we participate with the right spirit, then the logistical particulars of the practice matter little. This is where the legalistic patternists have completely missed the message of the Scriptures. I have dealt with the purposes of this event in Reflections #55 -- The Lord's Supper: Perceiving its Purpose and Reflections #351 -- Examining Eucharistic Expectation: What Did Jesus Christ Really Have in Mind When He Instituted the Lord's Supper? As for the matter of frequency, Mr. Battey appears to believe that this is a rather simple matter, with Acts 20:7 forever establishing Communion LAW. I would plead with this man, and those just like him, to examine the following with an open mind: Reflections #30 -- The Lord's Supper: Focusing on Frequency and Reflections #173 -- The Great Time Debate: Were the Events in Acts 20:7-12 Reckoned in Jewish or Roman Time? I also deal with all this and much, much more in my new book One Bread, One Body.
FOURTEEN --- Okay, are you ready for this one?! This one will send chills up and down your spine!! It just goes to show how brazen some of the women are at the Irving congregation!! "Four of the seven deacons' wives were guilty of cutting their hair at the time these men took their office" [p. 25]. What on God's green earth would possess a woman to trim her hair?!! Have they no shame?! Mr. Battey wrote, "The wives of deacons are to be 'faithful in all things' (1 Tim. 3:8-11), but when they cut their hair, they are being unfaithful" [p. 25]. If you think this is some lunacy that only George Battey has come up with, think again!! It is the standard dogma of the OPA crowd. I dealt with this nonsense in Reflections #276 -- Trim Not Thy Tresses: The Snipped Hair Hairesy.
Okay, brethren, I don't know about you, but that is about all of this foul garbage I can stomach ... and I'm not even halfway through his list of SINS. What absolute insanity!! Mr. Battey also condemns the Irving, TX congregation for giving out food to the hungry and for providing marriage and divorce counseling at the building for people [p. 27]. He condemns them for allowing members of the community to come to the church building and prepare for taking the G.E.D. exam [p. 29], and also for compassionately "helping out homeless families" by providing "shelter at night in the Irving church building" [p. 31]. "The Lord did not authorize the church to shelter people at night ... Bible silence forbids such practices" [p. 31-32]. Several of the members at Irving participated in a community action event called "Great Days of Service," in which Christians throughout the community volunteered to spruce up the homes of those who could not physically manage the task. Mr. Battey condemns them for this because they dared to work alongside denominationalists and digressives. George said that even announcing this event on Sunday, much less participating in it, constituted a SIN [p. 30]. "This is an unscriptural alliance with false religions" [p. 31]. The other churches in town are "the spiritual enemies of the Lord's church" ... they are people for whom we are to show no respect and with whom we are to have no association; to do so is an "abomination" [p. 31].
Brethren, it is genuinely hard to conceive that such thinking exists in the world today, much less among those professing to be the representatives of JESUS here on earth!! But it does. These people, in my view, are not disciples of Christ ... frankly, they do not have a clue about who He is. They are of their father the devil, and they must be exposed for who and what they are!! Thankfully, the majority of those good brethren within the One Cup fellowship of our faith-heritage are becoming increasingly aware of the nature of this evil, and they are rising up and speaking out against it ... and walking away from it in droves. May God give them the courage to stand firm in the faith, as well as the strength to endure the persecution that will be poured out upon them from the OPA tyrants. Brethren, pray for these men and women that they may finally shed the shackles of their bondage and come to know true freedom in Christ Jesus! As for those who enslave them, may our God rain down upon them the death blow that they so richly deserve, so that their reign of terror may be forever terminated.
Down, But Not Out
A Study of Divorce and Remarriage
in Light of God's Healing Grace
(A 193 page book by Al Maxey)
One Bread, One Body
An Examination of Eucharistic
Expectation, Evolution and Extremism
(A 230 page book by Al Maxey)
From an Elder in Florida:
Brother Al, While my personal preference is to believe in a relatively young earth and literal 24-hour days of creation, I realized nearly 50 years ago that there is no inherent conflict between the Scriptures and an old earth. Some of the so-called "reconciliations" between science and Scripture offered by young earth creationists are so contrived as to be ludicrous, and some of the stories that are told by those attempting to establish the Bible as a source of literal scientific truth make me think of Job's question to his friends: "Will you speak falsely on behalf of God?" Why, oh why, do we fall for such foolishness in the name of defending God?
From a Reader in Tennessee:
Dear Brother Al, I read your article "Theory of Evolutionary Creation" immediately upon receiving it. Well Done!! I have been a long time reader of John Clayton's bimonthly Does God Exist? publication (in which some of your own articles have appeared). May I suggest to you, and to all of your subscribers, a book by John Walton -- "The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate." This book is fascinating and very logical. I first read about this particular book in John Clayton's publication.
From a Reader in [Unknown]:
Brother Al, Your article "Theory of Evolutionary Creation," along with your study "The 'Days' of Creation" (Reflections #56), are the best I have ever read on this subject!! Thank you!!
From a Reader in Georgia:
Brother Al, Just read "Theory of Evolutionary Creation." Well done, brother!! I've looked at this issue from every reasonable angle available, and there is absolutely nothing within the holy Hebrew text that requires me to accept the young earth illusion! Unfortunately, in my opinion, these young earth creationists are in danger of doing great damage to the credibility of the church, just as was the case when the Catholic Church persecuted Galileo for his Heliocentricity Theory (that the sun is the center of our solar system, rather than the earth). My chief concern is that when the unbelieving world sees us refuse to accept insurmountable demonstrations of proof of the rationally indisputable fact for an old earth, that our ability to effectively argue against atheistic neo-Darwinism is greatly diminished. Once the church is intellectually discredited, we might just as well be trying to convince someone of the validity of the Easter Bunny! As for those within the "Condescending for the Faith" faction ... Wow!! Al, you know that you are making a huge difference when they start calling you out by name!!
From an Elder in Wyoming:
Dear Brother Al, After reading that email from Daniel Douglas in your last "Readers' Reflections" section, I decided to go to the Contending for the Faith web site to see what they had there, and also to get a glimpse as to WHY they believe what they do!! To my surprise, the only way you can access that web site is to be registered there and then be given a code to enter. How crazy!! If what they have is so all fired important and correct, why hide it from the rest of the world?! Why not let everyone read what they have to say (like you do with your Reflections web site)?! Actually, however, I am glad they have it coded so that not just anyone can be poisoned by their venom! Al, I thank God for what you have to write!! You are helping me, as well as others, grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Keep it up, brother! We love you!!
From a New Reader in [Unknown]:
Brother Al, Please add me to your mailing list for Reflections. I just read your Dialogue with David Martin, the Baptist Church pastor. WOW!! I did not know that this type of hatred and rabid rhetoric existed, as I have never experienced it from anyone!! I thought you handled it very well, however! Blessings to you.
From a Reader in Canada:
Brother Al, Keep up the good work!! Your work is widespread, and I promote your web site every chance that I get. One day, before I get too much older (I am 69), I want to drive down and visit with you in person. If you ever decide to come to Ottawa to visit this fair city, you and your family can stay with us!! We have a big home with several levels, thus plenty of room. You will always be more than welcome!
From a Reader in Alabama:
Dear Brother Al, I have an advanced degree in biology and taught at a Christian university for 37 years. I have been retired for 20 years, and during that time much evidence has accumulated in favor of a theory of evolution. I am currently an evolutionist who still believes strongly in the God of creation!
From a New Reader in Hawaii:
Mahalo, Brother Al, for your work!! I am really excited about what seems to be happening in a lot of the Churches of Christ. Such change all begins with leaders who have genuine courage and integrity!! Thank God for guys like Jay Guin, Rubel Shelly, Al Maxey and others!! I lost heart many years ago (during which time I was preaching) for the Churches of Christ, although I never lost heart for Jesus or His universal church. I look forward to receiving your Reflections by email.
From a Reader in Ohio:
Dear Brother Al, I really liked your article on Evolutionary Creation. With a science & technology background, I've always had some questions I've bantered about with friends and family. This is great stuff, Al, and I really appreciate you tackling it head-on in your usual in-depth, intelligent and inquisitive way. Dr. Lamoureux's book just got put on my "must read" list. Thanks again for taking on this important subject -- just one of the many you have so insightfully perceived as needing to be examined. Brother, thanks for all that you do. You give me great encouragement, and you help satisfy my appetite for our Father's Word. The Tulsa Workshop is just days away, and we should be talking face-to-face before you know it!!
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