It happened once again. Their relationship is over, resulting in emotional and maybe physical broken ties that will take a long time to get over. One is left wondering how many times this young lady and young man will give herself away-emotionally and physically-before she finally walks down the aisle to marry an altogether different man? I believe that even within the church our thinking has become poisoned in this arena. Dating has become such a major part of our culture that very few Christians even stop to consider what dating really entails. As such, many homes focus on that magical age when a teen is finally able to go out on a date. While it may be what the majority do, one should step back and ask if dating in modern times is a wise thing for Christian young people?
Another distinctive is that the International Churches of Christ focuses its evangelism almost exclusively on college students. Theologically, the International Church of Christ holds to the basic tenets of Protestant evangelicalism, but with two very important exceptions. First, the group is exclusivist, claiming that the church is meant to be united in one association, divided only by geography.
It teaches that any church that remains outside of this unified system, i. The International Churches of Christ also departs from biblical teaching in its teaching of baptismal regenerationthe belief that baptism is required for salvation. No other baptism will do. The Bible, on the other hand, teaches that salvation is by grace through faith, apart from works Ephesians -9 -including the work of baptism.
Welcome to our global family of churches! Use this map to find a church near you. Note that many of our churches meet in several locations within a metropolitan area. Please click on an individual church website to find the most current and specific information. Use the location list (key icon in top right corner) to show all locations within. Jan 02, Question: "What is the International Church of Christ (ICOC), and what do they believe?" Answer: The International Churches of Christ (ICOC) is a spin-off from the Churches of Christ; both groups are non-denominational, worldwide associations of churches and part of the Restoration jankossencontemporary.com ICOC has a network of over non-denominational churches in about countries. Introduction. My name is Marc Malafarina and I was a member of the Montreal International Church of Christ (ICoC) from May until the 24th of March I am going to share here some of my thoughts about the ICoC on different subjects, like recruitment, discipling, dating etc., and try to be as clear and thorough as possible.
Other problems with ICOC theology include their rejection of eternal security and, albeit far less important than other issues, their amillennial perspective of the end times. The International Churches of Christ has a strict and invasive power structure that uses manipulation and indoctrination to control its membership.
The mind control is done very subtly. There is a very good book by Mary Alice Chrnalogar - "Twisted Scriptures: a path to freedom from abusive churches". It describes really well how you can control Christians by using the Bible and without them really knowing that they are not really free to choose what they feel God wants them to do or how He wants them to live. Of course, within the clear moral teachings of the Word of God.
It also talks a lot about the non-biblical conception of the discipling relationship and the danger of the abuse of power by the discipler in that relationship. Most of the members discover, as they go deeper in the organization, that the way they see the church changes. Every time they start to ask questions, if they ever do, they learn that they are not welcomed by the leadership, and they start to think that something is wrong with them.
They start to be less and less confident about discerning what is God's will and how to correctly interpret the Bible. Some choose to cave in or submit because of all sorts of reasons: self-interest, psychological needs, financial needs or real conviction that this is the way God wants it.
The discipling method is the way they keep members from talking with each other about the problems of the church. The member always has to talk to his or her discipler first, and after he does so, he is reprimanded for having doubts, questions or criticism. The member never learns that other members may have the same concerns as he has, and thinks that it is himself that has the problem. I have tried to show you how I see the church in general and why I think it is more complex than most people want to admit and that things in life are never as black and white as some people would want us to believe.
I think we should try to understand, with compassion and love, why some people belong to the ICoC. I was a member once, and I should not judge too harshly. At the same time, we should denounce clearly unethical behaviours and unbiblical doctrines on the part of the leadership and, especially, Kip McKean.
I definitely think that the ICoC is a religious group that fits the criteria used by Robert Jay Lifton to determine if a group uses mind control. I hope this text is not to disorganized or with too much spelling errors. I tried to be as clear as I could, given that my mother tongue is French.
To understand where I come from you have to know what was my first experience with a church that used guilt and fear to make members conform to a particular way of seeing and living the Christian faith. I was a member of a French evangelical Baptist church in Montreal for two years, between August and November During those two years, I experienced the joy of being a born-again Christian, being baptized and taking my first steps in the Christian faith.
But after one year of being an active member of that church, I began to feel that the pastor had too much influence on the decisions of the church and on the personal decisions the members were making about their private lives.
There was one pastor and three deacons for a congregation of members, but only one unquestionable leader - the pastor. Also, the pastor used fear and guilt to get people to do what he said God wanted the church to do and how he wanted us to live the Christian life.
The pastor seemed to know God's will for every member of the congregation and if you disagreed with him, your commitment to God and the church were put into question.
There was not a lot of grace in the church - it was legalism in a subtle form. It was always justified by the Bible, but as I learned latter on, Bible interpretation is not an exact science. There are rules that you have to follow to correctly interpret the Word of God, and even with those rules not every committed and spiritual Christian agrees on everything. At the end of the second year, the congregation learned that the pastor had an adulterous affair with a single woman in the church.
The church was then asked to make a decision about this situation. The minority, which I was part of, wanted the pastor to leave the ministry for at least one year and get counseling for that problem. We wanted a public repentance also. The majority was so dependent on the pastor and influenced by him that they just could not conceive of the church without him. The majority carried the day and the minority could not accept the decision because of the obvious non-biblical way of treating this problem.
I had to leave with the members who were part of the minority. I had given a lot physically, psychologically and financially to this church, and I was really frustrated that we were the ones who had to leave. But that was nothing compared to the pain and sadness I felt about the fact that I thought I had made deep, strong and sincere friends whom I called brothers and sisters in Christ.
I was stunned to find out that those supposed friends were part of the majority who were talking about me, and the others who left, in an unflattering way.
They never called me once after I left the church. They believed the lies that the pastor was telling them about me and the others. They were completely controlled by the pastor. If they had talked with me and listened to my side of the story, they would have felt disloyal to the pastor. He made them feel that way. I could not understand how my friends could drop me just like that. This heart wrenching experience contributed to make me loose my faith in God and the Christian Church, even if I knew deep down that God was not to blame.
It took me five years to start looking for another church.
During the last three years, I started to study the cult phenomenon and the characteristics of the abusive church. A book that helped me a lot to understand what I had experienced was Churches that Abuse by Ronald Enroth.
I was slowly starting to trust God again, but I was still not going to a church regularly. In January I decided to find a church that would be really committed to following the Bible and where the leaders were accountable to the church and most of all to the Bible.
This time, however, I decided that if I ever found a church that I liked and that was biblical, I was going to go very slowly and ask a lot of questions before really getting involved. As they say, "Once burned, twice shy". After visiting 10 to 15 different evangelical churches, and not feeling that God called me to anyone of them, I went to my first meeting of the Montreal ICoC in the middle of May For the remainder of the text, I will not share what happened to me during the ten months in the ICoC because I feel that it would be redundant and much too long.
My experience is so similar to all the biographies I have read about former members of the ICoC. I would rather talk about what I think of the ICoC on different subjects such as recruitment, dating, discipling etc I think that would be a different and better contribution. I hope this text will help actual members and former members understand what the ICoC really believes and how they operate. From what I have observed during the ten months I was a member of the Montreal ICoC, the ways the church gets people to come to the meetings are varied and numerous.
One of the key characteristics of a cult is deception during the recruitment process. When you join the army or join a monastery, you know what to expect and you can ask any question you like before making a commitment to the group. If you ask difficult questions to answer, you are not perceived as arrogant or as having a problem with "trust" issues. They - the army or the monks - want you to know exactly what you're getting yourself into before you join them.
They give you accurate information of what is expected of you and what their policies are on different subjects. At least when you become a Jehovah witness it is very clear from the start that you join an organization that thinks they are the only ones that are truly saved. They do not dance around the question. I know this because I had a friend who joined that cult and they told him this right in the beginning, before he joined the church.
The Montreal ICoC do not talk about that doctrine very much. They know it would scare people off. They want to be attractive as a group and not be labeled as a cult. During the recruitment phase they give you only the information that they think you will be able to accept at that moment. They tell slightly different things to each recruit depending on what they can handle.
In a non-cultic church you have meetings where all the people who want to become members of the church can come and ask any kind of questions about the church and with all the other future members being present.
When you do things that way, the leadership cannot answer a question one way to somebody and another way to somebody else depending on what they can handle. That is why you do not see those kinds of group meetings in the ICoC. They only have leadership meetings. They certainly do not have informational meetings for people who entertain the thought of becoming members and where every question is completely answered, the detailed budget of the last year is gladly shown and their basic theology is clearly presented.
The ICoC feels that there is nothing wrong with this way of doing things. They justify it by saying that you should not give meat to a child. You give him milk, and if he can digest it, you give him solid food. But it's only a clever way of justifying the withholding of information that they deem not good for a young recruit to know or bother with.
We can recognize the patronizing attitude that goes like this: "We know better than you what is good for you. Another way the ICoC deceives the recruit is when they invite strangers, friends or co-workers to an activity organized by the church for the main purpose of recruiting future members. The problem is that they don't tell you it is organized by the church, and that most of the people present are members of the ICoC.
You find out later on, if you become a member or if you ask questions, that the majority of the persons who were present in those innocent get-togethers were members of the church. The person who is invited thinks it is only an innocent gathering of friends for a special occasion or the celebration of a birthday. These social activities are organized for the main purpose of recruiting.
The members who are present at those social activities are strongly encouraged to go talk to non-members and shower them with attention and compliments. After a while, when you're at the receiving end of this attention and you notice they do that with all of the new recruits, you begin to wonder if they are sincere in their compliments. It seems more like a sales technique then anything else. They are selling the organization and what it can provide: friends not real friendship but a conditional one and group identity more like group conformity.
This way of doing things has been called " love bombing " by cult experts. This technique is very effective with people who are vulnerable and in need of affection and understanding during a difficult time in their life.
Most members have a somewhat sincere love for the persons they are trying to reach but they do not understand that the God of the Bible is the God of truth and that He completely hates deception and lies.
God wants his children to really and sincerely love every human being they encounter on this earth without considering their potential to become a member of the church or not. God's children should love unconditionally and always be frank, truthful, candid and always be ready to give as much accurate information as possible to anybody who asks questions about any cts of their church. Again, they do not feel they deceive people when they do those things because the ultimate goal for the non-members is their eternal salvation.
It's the "end justifies the means" mentality. That attitude is pervasive in the Montreal ICoC. I personally have been lied to and deceived at different times during my involvement in the Montreal ICoC.
Also, I have seen and heard first hand the stories of many members who were recruited through the use of deception. The pressure on the members to bring in new members is constant and great. Therefore, it is not surprising that most members hide information from recruits.
They want to make sure that nothing drives them away from the church before they make a commitment to become a member through baptism. Members are evaluated about their level of spirituality based on how many recruits they personally lead through the First Principles studies and into the waters of baptism. The leadership of the ICoC is mostly responsible for that pervasive attitude in the church and they could change that if they really wanted to.
But the fact is, they do not see anything wrong with that attitude. Further, they will not let the members change the organization from the bottom-up.
In the next section I will talk about the discipling mouse trap. As far as I am concerned, the discipling method used by the ICoC is what makes the whole organization work. It keeps the power of decision making in the hands of the leadership and keeps the members in a submissive state. I have personally experienced the discipling relationship in the Montreal ICoC and I know what it means to be discipled.
Therefore, I am confident that the information I am about to give you is accurate and that it represents what really goes on in the ICoC.
Church Cult (ICOC) dating website!
The ICoC believes that the discipling relationship doctrine is based directly from the teachings of the Bible and particularly the Gospels. They believe that Jesus used the discipling method to teach His closest followers, His disciples. They also believe that the apostle Paul and the other leaders in the early church used that method to teach new Christians. When you read the book by Gordon Ferguson, it is easy to understand why the ICoC considers this teaching to be essential to the success of the church.
The goal of discipling is to train and transform God's children in order for them to become more mature and usable in the evangelization of the world for the glory of God. After establishing the basic principles of discipleship, in p. I understand from this quote that, if I do not agree with Ferguson that discipling relationships as he understands them are absolutely needed for the evangelization of the world, I do not have a heart to obey God.
This is an arrogant attitude for a man that is supposed to be a humble servant of God. Wrongly judging the hearts of committed Christians who disagree with the ICoC on the absolute necessity of the discipling relationship as "reluctant to obey God" is clearly playing the role of ultimate Judge, which is reserved only to God.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the only one who will judge the hearts of his followers at the final judgemen,t when their works will pass through the fire. The ICoC has to have this arrogant attitude because it thinks it is the only church that correctly interpret God's Word. It cannot accept the fact that equally or more committed Christians are doing God's will on earth and do not agree with its interpretation of the Bible on the subjects of discipling, baptism, authority in the church etc Following the lead of their leader, Kip McKean, the leaders of the ICoC have convinced themselves that they are the only ones who truly understand what the most important doctrines of God's Word are and how to correctly interpret them.
That arrogant attitude always came up when I was not agreeing with my discipler about a decision or an interpretation of the Scriptures on basic subjects like submission and authority in the church. He always responded by saying that the interpretation is clear because it is right there in the Bible. He said that there is only one interpretation that is right and we cannot agree to disagree.
If I still did not agree with him, is first thought was that I must be in sin or I am not willing to obey God's Word. He could or would not accept the fact that I could be right and that maybe what he was taught what not quite right.
The ICoC cannot change its doctrines or policies unless it comes from the top leadership and it trickles down. If you do not see the absolute necessity of being in a discipling relationship, as the ICoC defines it, you are seen has being prideful and faithless.
Icoc church dating
Read this quote from page 65 of Ferguson's book:. We can clearly see from this quote that the ICoC considers those disciples who are humble and trusting to be a special delight for God.
The practice of dating is a fairly modern concept of which the Bible provides very little instruction. Apart from a few Scriptures dealing with sexual immorality, purity, and guarding oneself against evil, which can be applied to pretty much every area of our lives, including that of dating, the Bible is silent. By setting and imposing specific man made rules on individuals in an attempt to. If you are weary with the disunity, confusion, and dogma of modern religion, we believe that you will welcome the plea made by church of Christ - that all may lay aside all human creeds and systems and live according to the Bible. I believe that even within the church our thinking has become poisoned in this arena. Dating has become such a major part of our culture that very few Christians even stop to consider what dating really entails. Dating holds such a "majority view" in our society that for many, this hot-button topic is .
They put a derogatory meaning on the words "independence" and "pride. They cannot conceive of somebody being independent without being prideful, unsubmissive and distrustful. For them, if you do not nearly completely trust your discipler and most of the time accept his advice, you are considered to be prideful, independent and distrustful of God's plan for your training. You have to distrust your own knowledge and intuition, even if it is knowledge of Scripture and God given intuition, to show that you have more faith in God's plan for your life.
Another statement concerning the extent of authority that leaders should have on the church and by extension that the discipler should have on the one being discipled is found on page of the same book:. These two conditions are often used in the ICoC to show that members will never be forced to do something against their conscience and forced to do something that violate Scripture.
But when you think about it, who decides if your appeal to conscience is sincere and biblically justified or just an excuse to do your own thing? The final decision still rests with the leadership or your discipler. The discipler should say to the one who is being discipled that he or she does not have to obey his or her instructions unless they are a biblical mandatenot that he or she has to obey unless it violates Scripture or their conscience.
If the person who is being discipled accepts what the ICoC teaches, that person will feel undue pressure to accept most of the discipler's advice and instructions, even if that person feels it goes against its conscience. Also, if they ask you to do something that for you is a violation of Scripture but not for them, which interpretation of the Word of God will be accepted as the right one?
Certainly not the interpretation that contradicts the official one of the ICoC! These dilemmas have happened to me in the Montreal ICoC and my appeals to conscience were always seen as an excuse to do my own thing and demonstrating my lack of faith in the leadership.
There is a great book that considers in depth the subjects of biblical discipleship, abusive discipleship, accountability, black and white thinking, control information and other authority issues. It is written by a Christian who loves God and His Word. This book is available to order at her web site. If you are a member or a former member of the ICoC, I highly recommend this book because it clearly shows how leaders can control members of churches in a way that are very subtle and without the member knowing that he is being controlled.
Dating in the ICoC is very different from dating in any other conservative Christian church. The ICoC believes that all the other Christian churches are very worldly and not pure in the area of sexuality. They want to be radically different from the world and worldly churches.
The Word of God says that God's children should only have sexual relations between man and woman and in the bond of marriage. This is what is taught in all the evangelical churches that I know. If a Christian persists in the sin of immorality he or she should be disciplined according to Mathew The difference between the evangelical church and the ICoC is that the ICoC will make sure, as much as possible, without physically controlling their members, that the disciples do not commit this sin.
For them it is so important that the church be pure on this subject. Therefore, they will set up guidelines, as they call them, so that man and woman in their church will not be put in a compromising and weak position so that they would fall into sin. And this is why they strongly recommend that when you go dating we were encouraged to date every Saturdayyou go on a double date or a group date.
They talk about the wisdom of that approach and they do not actually say that it is a sin to go on a single date. They know that it is not specifically prohibited by the Bible. But if the leadership of the church decides that we should, as a whole church, only go on double dates, because of problems with a couple of disciples who fell into sin and others who had bad marriages, what happens then? I know what happens because I lived it. If you do not obey that man-made rule, imposed by the church leadership, you are in sin because you are not submitting to your leaders.
This is where the leadership of the ICoC goes overboard. They do not have the right to take a man-made rule, even if it is partly defensible on a certain level, and make it like a commandment from the Lord.
I understand the wisdom of these guidelines. But if a member freely chooses, always according to the principles of Romans 14to go on a single date and be very discreet about it, the leadership should respect his or her right to exercise their freedom in Christ.
They should not blast them for being rebellious, full of pride and unwilling to put the good of the church before their lustful desires. The leaders assume that those who want to go on single dates want to be free to sin or do things that are dangerous.
They always assume the worst of people - that is one of the ways they control them. And if you say that you will not take any chances and put yourselves in a dangerous situation i. That is what the Bible says - don't you believe the Bible? The ICoC leadership acts like parents in a family, usually with the best of intentions for the disciples in the church. But if parents overprotect their children even out of a sincere, godly love and real concern for their welfarethey will end up crushing their spirit, their sincere enthusiasm, their sense of exploration, and their joy and love for life.
And the leaders of the ICC certainly do not always act from such pure motives. I have seen personally the devastating effects, on the spirits of children and disciples of a controlling and overprotecting parent or leadership. It is not a pretty sight. The child or the disciple becomes insecure, has no self-confidence, is scared of always doing the wrong thing, and is very sad that his or her parents or leaders have no faith in him or her to do the right thing.
God does not treat His children like that. He gives us direction and wise advice on the things that are not completely clear or explicit in His Word and lets us go, trusting our individual judgement, to exercise our freedom with responsibility, maturity and discretion.
He - the all knowing God of the Bible - certainly understands that there is a risk that we will use this freedom to excess and fall into sin.
But that is the only real way we will truly learn how to grow in maturity, discernment and wisdom. God does not hold us in a prison to make sure we will not sin. Sometimes parents will act like controlling despots with their children to make sure that they will not be embarrassed by their actions. This is also what ICoC leaders do to make sure that the image of the church is not tarnished and that it is what it should be, according to their interpretation of what God's church should look like or be like.
So what happens often times is that they will start imposing rules that are more and more strict or narrow, to make sure that the members of the church will not fall into sin and cause a scandal for the church.
They feel that it is their responsibility to make sure God's church is pure and pleasing to Him. This feeling is partly understandable, but it can easily interfere with the individual responsibility of each member to live a holy life according to their biblical interpretation of holy. To some disciples, going on a single date is playing with fire, but to another disciple it is perfectly holy. They just have to be wise about the choices they will make on that date. God does not ask that the leaders protect the reputation of His church by controlling the actions of the members through the implementation of strict rules of conduct.
We are not talking here about behaviours that are clearly spelled out in the Scriptures as being sinful, but about behaviours that are neutral. What I am talking about is single dating, dancing, drinking a glass of wine, wearing certain type of clothing, eating different foods etc The leaders do not have the right to legislate those behaviours and must respect differences of opinion on those matters.
If they don't, they will start to act and be like the Pharisees Mathewwho had the same concerns, and were putting more and more weight on the shoulders of their disciples in order to make sure that they were not violating any law of the Old Testament.
The Pharisees invented so many rules that were supposed to make sure that their disciples and the people of God would not sin against Him that they lost the more important commandments of God's law. They were, most of the time, well intentioned, but they still were not doing what God wanted.
They were turning people away from God because of their man-made rules, which became a heavy burden to carry for the people of God. The temptation for the leaders to control the actions of members of their group is common in all types of organization and especially in conservative churches. But that is not something that God struggles with. He can take care of His church and the image it projects.
He wants us to love and obey him freely and that notion includes a risk of sinning against Him. I hope I have been clear enough.
For the rest of the section I will talk more directly about the dating game. The way they understand dating is very peculiar.
They encourage you to go on dates with all the sisters or brothers in the church, without asking yourself if you like her or him more than normal friendship, i. The main goal of those weekly dates is to encourage the sisters or the brothers so that they won't find themselves alone on a Saturday night and be tempted to go out with non-members of the church.
I was often told that I was selfish if I did not go on a double date once a week and if I wanted to go out only with one particular sister. At the beginning they say that you should always go on dates with a different sister each week and never more than once per month with the same sister. If you do not want to go on a different date each week and that you would like to go out with only one sister because you like her more than the others, you are considered to be selfish.
For me, romance is what dating is all about - you can have group activities with all the sisters or go out with them as friends in order for them not to be alone, but dating is a different thing. You go on a date with a person that you are attracted to romantically You cannot force romantic love onto an individual. Even if you think that they would go so well together, that they have the same level of spirituality, that they both want to be leaders etc Love is a very personal thing and the first criteria for them to be together should not be their effectiveness in the ministry or if they would look good as representatives of the church.
This, as I saw for my self in the Montreal ICoC, was often the main motivation of the leaders for encouraging two individual to be together. Besides that, when you want to go out more often with one sister in particular, you don't just have to go ask her but you have to go talk to your discipler to ask what he thinks about that.
What will happen after you talked with your discipler? He will go see the discipler of the woman you are interested in and he will ask her what she thinks about that. The two disciplers consider if you and she are both ready spiritually to date each other - they are the judges of your spiritual health and level.
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If they both agree that it would be a good idea for you and her to be together, you are permitted to go out once a month at the beginning and every two weeks after that. You still have to go on double dates and have to tell your discipler mostly everything you did or thought about during the date.
This is very important because, as they tell you, you do not want to keep sin in your heart, you have to confess your lustful thoughts. It's certain that you had some. If they judge that you are not compatible or one of the two is wrongly affected in a spiritual way, they will let you know what they think and what you should do. You better be humble and ready to stop the relationship if they feel that it is not good for your spiritual life and that you are not ready. This way of doing things for the ICoC leadership - it is the best way they found to have a strong influence on who in the church will end up together as steady couples and eventually, perhaps, as a married couple.
They feel a responsibility to find husbands and wives for the long time single and faithful members of the church. They encourage most of the young members 20 to 28 to give all to the Lord, push themselves and not to think too much about a particular woman or man.
They encourage those who are older 28 to 35 to think about marriage and to find a spiritual woman or man that would most help them serve the Lord and be effective in making more disciples. They do not force anybody to marry anybody else, they just strongly influence who you choose as your mate by using ordinary psychological pressure techniques, used in a psychologically closed environment, and relentlessly and regularly applied.
They do not think that interfering in your personal love life is bad or not permitted by the Bible because it is for your own good and for the glory of God's church.
A lot of members of the church will say that the leadership did not interfere with their love life, but that's because they conformed to the vision of the church and played the dating game and let themselves be influenced.
I have seen so many disciples change their minds about a person, an opinion about something or about the biblical or unbiblical foundation of a doctrine after talking to their discipler or the evangelist. If you do not change your mind after talking with your discipler or the leadership about an opinion you have, even if it is biblically justified, you are considered to be divisive, prideful or selfish.
I have personally experienced this many times. I feel sorry for those members who are pressured to do things that they do not feel is what they would do if there was no pressure by the leadership. Especially in the arena of their love life. Of course, not all of them are feeling pressure to do things they do not want to do. For some members, it just happens that what they want corresponds to what the leadership wants. They put undue pressure on members only when they disagree with the leadership or want something different than what the leadership wants.
In the next section I will talk about the overall theology of the ICoC. What frustrated me most when I had discussions with the leadership of the Montreal ICoC and with my discipler is that they did not acknowledge or very rarely acknowledged the implications of their basic theology, which is found on two main documents written by Kip McKean the founder and leader of the ICoC.
The first one is Revolution through Restoration written in April and the second one is the follow-up article part II, written in April Just by the title you can see that the Boston movement the ICoC is seen by it's main and primary leader to be a revolution accomplished by a restoration of rediscovered biblical doctrines of the first century Christian church.
In section 8 of the first article he puts up a list of all the doctrines that have been restored. The first two rediscovered doctrines are: baptizing only people who have made the decision to be disciples John and ongoing discipling for every Christian in a local church Matthew These two doctrines, along with the one church concept and the inclusion of baptism as a necessary part of the salvation process, are the key doctrines that are the most controversial.
Here is a list of the rediscovered doctrines given by Kip McKean in his first article the first sectionthe five convictions of the movement the second section and the refutation of false doctrines of baptism found in the first principles studies the third section :. For nearly 13 years, there has been a constant wrestling with God through the Scriptures and prayer - "Revolution Through Restoration. I composed this controversial equation to convict and help individuals with a denominational church background to see that they were not true Christians.
In this way I was able to explain to them from the Bible that there was a greater difference between the Lexington Boston Church and their denomination than baptism by immersion for the remission of sins. In retrospect, this restored doctrine was the beginning of the formal split between the Boston churches and the mainline Church of Christ. People may use Revelation about Jesus knocking at the door, however, you must examine the Scripture in context. This scripture does not teach how to become a Christian and be saved, but how to come back to God after becoming lukewarm.
It is addressed to disciples who already responded to Christ in faith, repentance, confession and baptism. Infant baptism: A baby cannot have faith, and since we are baptized through faith in the power of God Colossiansbabies cannot be baptized. Acts teaches that sin is forgiven at baptism-one is saved at the point sin is forgiven. It is not merely a sign, seal or symbol. Paul himself was baptized to have his sins forgiven in Acts In context read 1 Corinthianshe makes the point that he does not want people following men denominationalism.
He mentions baptism several times in the passage. These are the basic doctrines that all the churches affiliated with the ICoC organization teach and promote as rediscovered and restored from the primitive church. If a Christian church does not teach all of these doctrines and do not put into practice all of these teachings, it should not, according to the leadership of the ICoC, be considered a true church of Jesus-Christ.
Of course they will say that it is not according to them, but according to the Bible, because they believe their interpretation of the Scriptures, on the crucial and most important doctrines, is We can see from these teachings that the ICoC sees itself as a The Movement that has restored the church of the first century by teaching those true doctrines taken directly from the Bible and not influenced by any traditions. This is their claim, and more specifically, Kip McKean's claim.
Because, after all, he is the one who says that God used him to start The modern day Movement of God in order to evangelize the world in this generation. So, as they claim, Kip has returned to the source of all truth, the Bible, and has found fundamental doctrines that were not practiced by nearly anybody in the Christian churches and as restored them in order to build a true church of Jesus Christ.
A church composed of only true disciples. Kip and the ICoC teach the truth because they only take their teaching directly from the Bible and not from men's traditions. That is their claim. However, if you study the different religious movements through out the history of the Christian church, you will find that it is not the first time that a leader of a group has had the exact same claim. Armstrong They all said and are saying that they take their teaching directly from the Bible with no influence by men's traditions.
So how am I going to be able to find out who has the correct interpretation of the Word of God? You are not the first one to ask this question and that is why there are rules of interpretation to consider when we study God's Word. Most all the conservative Christians agree on a certain list of rules in order to correctly interpret God's Word. Also, the overwhelming majority of conservative, Bible believing Christians agrees that, because of our human condition, it is certain that we will come to different conclusions on a certain number of doctrines that are not part of the fundamental message of the Bible.
That is why, after the Protestant reformation and the proliferation of a lot of different Christian groups "Poping" every where, with emphasis on different biblical doctrines, the Christians had to separate what was fundamental teaching in the Bible from what was not, and have respect for legitimate differences of opinion.
Paul and the leaders of the early Christian church also had to do that during the doctrinal controversies that erupted in the first century Romans 14, 1 Corinthians 8. There was and still is a common saying among a lot of conservative Christians today that goes like this: In matters of faith, unity; in matters of opinion, liberty; in all things, love.
This is a necessary principle to follow because any and all reasonable conservative Christians understand that no one person or group can reasonably claim to be the only ones to possess the key to interpret God's Word correctly, and really know what God wants for His people, without suffering from some kind of delusion.
Deluding themselves that they the leaders and members of the ICoC really understand God's Word more clearly and accurately than most of the other conservative Christians on the planet is not facing up to their own flaws as human beings, their own sinfulness and their own basic and common need for psychological security and certainty of purpose and dogma.
They, unlike all the Christians in the world, are really not afraid to be totally committed, to really love God with a pure heart, to want to do only His will not theirs and to truly follow the rules of biblical interpretation perfectly - that is what they believe about themselves.
I did not say that they think of themselves as being perfect Christians in their conduct. They know better than to say something so stupid. They always say that their leaders are not perfect in their conduct to excuse the fact that they psychologically and spiritually abuse a majority of their members. The fact that people claim those things, and that a relatively small number of people accept their teaching as biblical, has more to do with their personal psychology and the way they see the world than with the Truth.
But if they are convinced, just as a Jehovah Witness is convinced, in the true biblical foundations of the teachings they receive, then I cannot expect them to be open minded and question themselves. They have chosen, consciously or unconsciously, to be closed minded and believe that their leader and their organization are teaching them directly from the Word of God with no particular interpretation.
They have chosen to believe that the Word of God is completely clear in the basic doctrines baptism, salvation etc If a person studying the Bible with the ICoC really wants to know God's will and is ready to be completely committed to Him and is Church, that person will see the truth, i. They have chosen to believe that all the Christians, who do not agree with their interpretation of the basic doctrines of the Bible, like salvation or baptism for example, are either ignorant of the plain teachings of the Bible have not really studied ithave studied it but with the wrong attitude with sin in their life, not really willing to obey it or with an intellectual attitudeor have studied it with a bad influence from human and church traditions Catholic, Protestant denominationalism or Evangelical.
These reasons, or other reasons that I have not thought about, explain why those Christians don't correctly interpret the Word of God and why they, their leaders and their organization the ICoCare not the ones who know the biblical truth. They have chosen to think like that because of all sorts of conscious and unconscious reasons that I would not presume to know or completely understand. I just want them to know that they don't have to think like that.
This way of seeing things is not the absolute truth or the biblical truth. It is also possible, and even maybe probable, that Kip McKean himself is self-deceived - i. As far as I am concerned the fact that he probably believes his own claims is evidence of mild psychological defect.
But of course that plays in Kip's hands, because he will say that Jesus was regarded as being crazy just like he is. And he - Kip - is persecuted just like Jesus was. That is what he wants us to believe. I know better than that. I am going to quote again certain paragraphs from the two articles by Kip McKean and show you that the implications of those quotes cannot be denied and cannot be overlooked.
This quote talks about how Kip arrived at the conviction that you have to be a disciple to be a true Christian and that he has never taught that you have to be baptized in the ICoC to be saved:. We can clearly see from this quote that Kip does not say directly that the members of the ICoC are the only ones that are saved.
But what he is saying is that if you are not taught what is the clear and undeniable teaching of the Scriptures on how to be saved and that you do not submit to that teaching and obey it, joyfully and with all of your heart, you will not be saved.
And it just happens that he knows of no other church that teaches what the ICoC teaches as Jesus undeniably taught it in Acts 2: 41, It's not Kip's fault that things are as they are.
For him it is not a matter of interpretation, it is right there in black on white. For him it is crystal-clear that these verses mean what they mean i. They will say that if somebody is truly searching for God, he or she will eventually find their church and become a true disciple by being baptized as one. This is a clever way of saying that it is nearly impossible to be saved if you do not become a member of the ICoC.
What about all the men and women who loved, served, and died for God in the history of the church but did not believe that when they were baptized it was for the remissions of sins and were not in a discipling relationship? The implication of that statement is that the chance of being saved outside the ICoC is extremely slim indeed.
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They will not say it cannot happen because that would offend the other conservative Christians and it would not be too good for the image that they want to project: a church that simply has strong biblical convictions and are willing to live and defend them.
They would not want to be compared to the Jehovah Witnesses.
At least, with them, we know exactly where we stand. They clearly say that the only ones that are truly saved are the ones that belong to their organization. The fact that the ICoC is willing to admit that maybe there are exceptions or that the ones that are still not with the ICoC, but have understood from the Bible what they have to do to be saved, will join them, does not take into account the basic flaw in the way they think.
In the final analysis, it's practically the same thing as saying that they are the only ones saved. Here are other quotes that talk about how Kip sees the other churches, and what he thinks about the ICoC and its mission:. I don't think it can be clearer than that. We can notice that, for Kip, the other Christian churches, even the conservative and evangelical ones, are clearly not doing what God wants.
He seems to assume that they assemble themselves that way because they are racist. But that is, most of the time, not at all the reasons for this kind of homogeneous church.
It is to serve the particular needs of a particular race. That is what he seems to think. When I was in the Montreal ICoC I was really annoyed about the leadership's attitude of always seeing the worst in all the churches that were not part of the movement. I had friends who were going to evangelical churches that were not perfect but that certainly loved the Lord, and were actively evangelizing and serving the community they were part of.
These churches were regarded by the disciples of the Montreal ICoC as lost, going to hell. They would tell me that they my friends needed to be taught more exactly the teachings of the Bible because what they had been taught were false doctrines and it was not enough for them to be saved. They would not make it to heaven. They told me the mere fact that my friends from other churches were not in a discipling relationship was evidence that they did not really want to do God's will and were not really wanting to obey the clear teaching of the Bible.
They were always subtly, and not so subtly at other times, putting down the other conservative churches. Most of them have never put a foot in an evangelical church and they were judging these churches based on completely biased and inaccurate information given to them by ICoC leaders.