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Richland Hills story sparks debate, dozens of letters

Editor’s note: We’ve opened and read dozens e-mails in the days since we posted the story on the Richland Hills, Texas, church’s announcement that it will add an instrumental service with communion on Saturday nights in early 2007. The letters that follow are representative thoughts from that group of responses. Propriety and good judgment prevent us from running all of the letters. We continue to welcome your thoughts on this story. We ask that you review our guidelines for letters so that your opinion may be included here.
Very interesting news about communion and instruments on Saturday evening. Awesome, actually. What God left as non-issues we should also leave as non-issues.
In other words, making doctrine all these years about issues that scriptures remain silent on has been wrong.
We’ve been adding to the Word long enough on these issues. Some will struggle with it because of our firm belief in C.E.N.I. (Command, Example, Necessary Inference), but the Church must stop catering to the legalists.
I say shame on you all for letting the same old thing that people have said for years to get their way and they finally have. They just wore you down.
Our world is changing so fast and we can’t count on anything to stay the same, but the book should and we don’t have the right to say what the Lord had in mind just to get more people in the door.
You may all think you know all, but maybe you don’t. Time will tell and then maybe it will be too late to make it right. Maybe it already is!
My dad, a preacher who has been dead for many years, used to quote a much older preacher years ago who said, “Brethern, we are drifting.”
When are these churches who are adding such worldly practices to their services going to begin calling themselves “Church of the World” instead of a Church of Christ?


It was obvious that Rich Atchley was cozying up to the instrumentalists at the ACU lectures, and he has been doing this for some time.
This addition to Christian worship is just the harbinger of more to come (or things already come like Saturday night communion). God save us from ourselves.
Forrest M.McCann, Professor Emeritus
Abilene Christian University.
Where are the responsible, strong and faithful church leaders of yesterday? Are we going to continue sacrificing doctrine to merely appeal to the masses? Jesus didn’t.
I Timothy 4:16 has not changed, and we should not either.
Greg Brewer
I find it interesting that your lead article is about instrumental music. Especially considering such issues in the world as AIDS orphans, epidemic incidences of abortion, declining church populations … Let’s talk about the “meat” of the word not the constant “milk.”That is about all I can say.
Tim Beckner
I have heard all three of Rick Atchley’s lessons on this subject and they are available to everyone on our web site www.rhchurch.org.
In fairness, everyone should hear these three lessons before making a decision on where to come down on these issues (there are more issues than instrumental music). Rick deals with all of them and they are a powerful lesson in research and bible truths.
However, one issue that is not addressed is “congregational autonomy.” This decision is not designed to require even our own members to worship with instrumental music, and only affects our congregation.
Our Sunday services will not be changed in any way by this decision. In no way does it make any decisions for other congregations.
If they are “autonomous,” as they claim to be, why is this a problem to them? Why would you want to take a “poll” on a decision by our elders?
Our elders do not take “polls” on the decisions of other elders to the best of my knowledge. Something seems amiss here.
Your article was very good and represented the facts quite well. I would appreciate your adding the site for your readers to have access to the complete story. I have no doubt that all have heard the other side many
times. Religiophobia is very rampant on these issues.
Jack L. Drain
Way to go Richland Hills!!! We did this in Feb. of 2005. In 2006 we moved the service to Sunday nights.

  • Feedback
    For years we have warned the church that the invitation of God to come to his Lord’s supper at His Bible hour must be observed on the night of day One of His seven day Sabbaton(early dark of Saturday night. God has no day measured the same as the day of the sun god or Sunday.
    Willard Wade
    Church of Christ
    Gardena, ca
    February, 4 2010
    I believe that the Richland Hills congregation has apostatized. The use of instrumental music in worship is not authorized in the New Testament Scriptures, either directly, by example, or by necessary inference. The use of praise teams is another deviation from Scripture. It is another way to conform to those around us in order to make worship more ascetically pleasing to self. Also, I would assume Saturday gatherings are just as authorized as Wednesday evening. But if the purpose is to gather together to break bread, as the church in Troas did in Acts 20, then any day, save Sunday (the first day of the week), is unauthorized.
    You are reforming yourselves into a denomination.
    Lynn Heath
    Hixson, TN
    United States
    December, 27 2009

Filed under: Letters To The Editor Staff Reports Uncategorized

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