New Covenant Publications - A Counter Cult Ministry

 

Reaction of the Nashville Church

 

We had an all-church midweek service last night to address the issues brought up by the letter. I'm happy to report that Doug Lambert (the lead evangelist), and Barry Holt and Woody Rowe (the elders) are clearly getting it.

They each apologized, quite sincerely I thought, for their role in letting things get to where they are. They apologized very specifically. Here are some of the items:

- humanistic leadership, driven by numbers and stats, creating a works-oriented culture
- "fostered, allowed, and encouraged a hierarchical system that has produced a culture of fear and control"
- insensitivity to our needs and schedules
- left unspiritual and harsh leaders in far too long; more focused on about helping them than the people they led
- sarcasm from the pulpit, belittling other religious groups, demeaning people with good hearts
- allowing money to be spent too freely, and sometimes for things of questionable value.

Some of the immediate reforms:

- no more one-over-another, assigned relationships; get help from and be with whoever we want.
- no more dating rules (other than be pure), even if it means sin occurs and people wind up together who shouldn't. Must allow people to make their own mistakes.
- acknowledged that there are other Christians out there besides just us, and that just because someone left us doesn't mean they left God.
- bring non-staff into decision-making, welcome all input.
- no longer under LA; decisions will be made locally.
- focus on and re-study biblical leadership roles (elders, evangelists, teachers and deacons)
- reconsider the 1st principles studies and how we go about studying with people.

Doug acknowledged that last night was just a beginning, and pledged to continue making changes as needed. He scheduled two open forums, and he and the elders stayed till everyone left, answering questions and dealing with people's concerns and issues.

The congregation responded very favorably to the whole thing. There were many who had left the church also present, and I heard some positive responses from them and from some of the previously out-for-blood types. Additionally, one brother who is a friend of mine and who initially opposed what Henry's letter had to say has softened up considerably. I'd say the vast majority of the disciples were very relieved, and the church is beginning to move in the right direction again.

 

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