Now the story of the Nashville Jubilee Inc., has turned full circle.
There are no more hidden agendas. It has taken almost a decade
to come to grips with the fact that the liberal "change agents"
deem the time is right to seize the traditional churches of Christ,
and to pick up the rich booty. The morality of this is obvious.
Pious "change agents" failed with their subterfuges
to capture the Hendersonville, South Harpeth, and Concord Road
churches. Coming first on the scene as messengers garbed in sweetness
and light, they suddenly metamorphosed into "barracudas of
Truth will out. Light will force its way into the darkest recesses.
The "innards" of eight Jubilees past were fully exposed
under the glaring theater lights of the shining pleasure dome
of glass and steel in downtown Nashville. The genie is out of
the bottle. This cat can not be put back in the bag.
"Both" Sides of Nashville Jubilee, Inc.
A defense for Jubilee set up by the Madison elders, and also the
West End church, is that we want to hear both sides. There are
indeed two sides to Jubilee, and we will hear from both. The agendas
of the liberal change agents are now in sharp focus. The traditional
churches of Christ have an honorable history. We do not need to
apologize for our faith and love for the church. Let Rubel Shelly
and Victor Knowles confess their own sins, not for the life of
We need only to look at Jubilee '97 to gather our facts. ("We"
is used in this article as a rhetorical device to refer to the
traditional churches of Christ.] We belong to that great crowd
of witnesses who reverence the memory of David Lipscomb and his
kind who stopped the digressives dead in their tracks one hundred
We shall look at Jubilee from three vantage positions-what actually
happened during Jubilee '97; how the conservatives see Jubilee;
and how the liberal change agents are using Jubilee to capture
Jubilee '97 was carefully staged and orchestrated against the
backdrop of the sports palace just across the street from the
old Ryman auditorium where N.B. Hardeman preached the gospel in
1922. The arena was set up to seat 15,000. The arena office reported
the actual count to be 10,500. The Pentecostals and Baptists never
showed up. Careful plans had been laid for the opening night of
Jubilee. An early mailing of Jubilee propaganda from the sponsoring
Donelson church painted Jubilee '97 as the meeting which would
relegate the previous Hardeman and Collins meetings to relics
of another time.
Rubel Shelly presented Max Lucado as the greatest preacher on
planet earth who is best qualified to preach the pure gospel of
Christ. To compare this pseudogospel preacher to N.B. Hardeman
and Willard Collins would be like comparing a head of cabbage
to a bust of George Washington.
During the April 22 luncheon in the Sheraton Music City hotel.
Dr. Shelly called upon "apostle" Don Finto to bless
the food. Max Lucado told us assembled that Don Finto is his hero.
The master plan for Jubilee '97 was opened up somewhat for viewing.
Susan Gamble Reports Jubilee '97
We have read Susan Gamble's glowing appraisal of the successes
of Jubilee '97 off the ACU server. Susan Gamble is a "true
blue" apologist for Jubilee change agents as they push to
destroy the traditional churches of Christ. We do not question
her sincerity, just her interpretive judgment.
Susan wrote, "Eleven people from our congregation in Brantford,
Ontario, attended the Jubilee program in Nashville last week and
I thought I'd post a bit of a report to you all." We thank
you, Susan, for doing so. Much of what you write is correct, and
much is fiction. You wrote that you saw two other people from
Canada. Just two?
You wrote that the "speakers were absolutely stupendous [?]."
You name Joe Beam, Rubel Shelly, and Jeff Walling. You also name
the other Canadian present, Bobby Harrington, from Calgary. Susan,
do you know that the Otter Creek elders fired this Jubilee speaker?
Like Ken Dye formerly of Hendersonville, Doug Varnado of South
Harpeth, and Scotty Harris of Concord Road, they took vengeance
in trying to split the churches that had put bread on their table.
Bobby did the same and went over to Brentwood to start up a little
Willow Creek community church.
And Susan, you couldn't get this one right because you got it
wrong. Like Marshall Keeble told me when I was writing Roll
Jordan Roll, "If you don't respect facts ... they will
stand up and knock you down every time." You wrote, "Several
Tennessee congregations called for a boycott of Jubilee based
on the presumption that Max doesn't affirm baptism as a part of
the salvation walk." Why of course he does believe in baptism
just as do the Baptists. We think you hedged on this one with
an obfuscation of calculated words.
Instead, the elders of three great churches of Christ in Nashville
independently addressed Jubilee. The Hillsboro elders made it
clear, as did the preacher, Marlin Connely, that they do not endorse
Jubilee. This was printed in their church bulletin. Have you thought
about comparing the Hillsboro church where Batsell Barrett Baxter
preached with Finto's "Third Wave" Belmont Church, or
Shelly's Willow Creek style Woodmont Hills Family of God?
The Goodlettsville elders published their objections in their
church bulletin. The full text of the Lucado radio speech in Lubbock
was also printed. There is no reason to garble the meaning of
Lucado's published words on baptism. He speaks clearly for himself.
The Crieve Hall elders also made their statement independently
of all other churches. The preacher delivered a sermon outlining
the false doctrines being preached by the Jubilee change agents.
The elders were present for both services to express their unanimous
disapproval of Jubilee as an enemy of the churches of Christ.
Turning the Corner on the Jubilee Change Agents
Susan, take notice of this one which should cause Rubel Shelly,
Max Lucado, and Joe Beam to gnash their teeth in frustration.
Sixtyeight brethren met July 3, 1997, in the Concord Road
Church of Christ building to express their unanimous rejection
of Nashville Jubilee, Inc., in general, and Rubel Shelly in particular.
Three of the most highly profiled preachers in churches of Christ
today stood as one in stating their unqualified rejection of Jubilee.
These brethren were William Woodson, Jim Bill McInteer, and a
letter from Willard Collins. Of the brethren who spoke, each denounced
Jubilee as with one voice. There was no voice in support of Jubilee
from any person who was present. There was common agreement that
some action should be taken to refute and counter the influence
Susan, you do not promote the agendas of the change agents which
are public and on the table when you fail to address the facts
as facts in context. These brethren at Concord Road knew they
were crossing the Rubicon. This was not just another meeting,
but a historic event.
Susan, you and your ten friends got into town in time to read
the Banner and Tennessean who reported the clear
and unbiased facts. The Banner opened this barrel of worms
July 1 with the headline-"Jubilee Stirs Debate Among Congregations:
Conservatives say the speakers aren't telling the truth."
The Tennessean printed their story with a picture of a
man in a "praise the Lord" posture. You see the top
of my white head to the left of the tall young man standing in
front of me. This was an isolated scene. The news photographer
appeared as if on cue. The headline read - Jubilee Opens under
Cloud of Uncertainty: Event's Future in Doubt.
However, a rumor surfaced that may very well grove to be true.
Some unidentified "guardian faerie" has put down a million
dollars to insure Jubilee's future. Would he please step forward
that we might meet him?
Susan paid special attention to the numerous booths on the Jubilee
convention floor. Did she notice that the Gospel Advocate,
the 21st Christian Century, and Freed Hardeman University
had no displays. Does she want to know why? We know. But did she
notice the last issue Image magazine of the Howard Publishing
Image is soon to be reincarnated in a new rejuvenated
Wineskins filled with new mixed and sparkling wines. We
can hardly wait for rejuvenated Wineskins to replace the
old Wineskins which Doug Foster and Andre Resner shot down
in 1992. We are told we make martyrs out of such men by criticizing
them. This is not our intention.
Nine local churches supported Jubilee '97-down from previous years.
The numbers indicate the DLU employees who attend these churches,
157 in all. The Otter Creek congregation (22), Madison (4), Antioch
(15), West End (7), Donelson (7), Greenridge, Woodmont Hills (33),
Brentwood Hills (40), Harpeth Hills (23), and the Hendersonville
Community Church of Christ (15). We think that there are serious
problems for David Lipscomb University reflected in these numbers.
I counted in Mac Lynn's book 229 churches of Christ with Nashville
mailing addresses, and the mailing address of nine big towns within
a fiftymile radius of Nashville. Compare the number of nine
Jubilee churches with that great number of churches who have nothing
to do with Jubilee.
Our postmodern liberal brethren are beginning to run scared. I
have no doubt that the great majority of the churches of Christ
out there love the simple gospel. There is no middle ground in
the churches of Christ for those who speak half the language of
the Jews and half the language of Ashdod.
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