Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Tree Fell in the Forest

A tree fell in the forest, but no one heard it—at least no one who reads the Christian Chronicle.

The fallen tree was the decision by the Quail Springs Church of Christ elders in Oklahoma City to add mechanical instruments of music to their worship.

When the Richland Hills Church of Christ in Texas decided to add mechanical instruments in December, 2006 the Chronicle rushed into print with a full report of that decision. (www.christianchronicle.org). In that story, Chronicle reporter Bobby Ross, Jr. wrote,

The Richland Hills church in Texas — the largest of the nation’s 13,000 a cappella Churches of Christ — has decided to add an instrumental worship assembly with communion on Saturday nights. Jon Jones, an elder and former pulpit minister at the 6,400-member church, told the congregation Dec. 3 that Richland Hills’ elders "fully and completely" endorsed the decision (ibid, “Nation’s Largest Church of Christ Adding Instrumental Service”).
But when Quail Springs, which is in the Chronicle’s own back yard, followed Richland Hills’ lead in January, 2007, the paper’s silence was deafening. The Chronicle’s parent company, Oklahoma Christian University, had Quail Springs’ preacher, Mark Henderson, as a chapel speaker on Monday, February 2, 2007, less than a week after he and the Quail Springs elders made their announcement to add mechanical instruments to their worship (www.quailchurch.com) but there was nary a peep about mechanical instruments where Henderson preaches.

Neither Chronicle Editor, Lynn McMillon, nor Oklahoma Christian University President Mike O’Neal will take public issue with Quail Springs’ decision, which is, itself, public on the worldwide web, and although it’s been six months since Quail Springs made their announcement on January 28, 2007, Chronicle readers still haven’t heard that tree fall in the forest. Oh, by the way, Rick Atchley was also a chapel speaker at Oklahoma Christian University in the fall of 2006.

Jerry Brewer

Here is a very telling note from a Chronicle reader in response “Nation’s Largest Church of Christ Adding Instrumental Service”.

Here is a very telling note from Mike in response to the Richland Hills article:
“Way to go Richland Hills!!! We did this in Feb. of 2005. In 2006 we moved the service to Sunday nights.”

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