After God created man in Genesis chapter one, we find that God immediately set out to create a helpmeet for him. Genesis says, "And Adam gave names to all the cattle and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found a help meet for him. Woman was created from the rib of man Genesis ,22 , and took her God-given place by Adam's side as his wife and help meet. It isn't quite that easy to find a mate today. Since God doesn't create a mate for us, we must do our best to find that "Mr.
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? Because my advice runs counter to our current culture, many Christians will take exception to my counsel to you.
In fact, some may take personal offense. My effort here is not to offend but rather to encourage a paradigm shift on how we envision finding a future spouse. Some would argue that this was the cultural norm in the past, and that things have changed today. Have we forgotten that we are not to be conformed to the world Romans ? Dating begins with a male or female initiating a more-than-friends relationship.
I believe honest evaluation recognizes that modern dating promotes lust and provides a doorway for fornication. Consider what happens when someone creates a strong endorphin bond with a girlfriend, and then they break up years later. Could it not be truthfully said that in many cases dating develops an appetite for variety, promoting dissatisfaction within a future permanent bond of marriage? Can Christian parents look at these attributes and feel comfortable that our current dating system is biblically preparing young men and women for marriage?
In an ironic twist of fate, in the modern dating model, the father, who is supposed to be helping ensuring the purity of his children, is the least involved. 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. 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. That was really hypocritical, because they always talked about the fact that most of their critics had never set foot in their church and were just propagating false information.
They said of their critics that they just did not have the facts and had never talked to the members directly.
But, at the same time they are not shy about putting down other evangelical churches by using bias and false information. They always would exaggerate the failures of other churches while exaggerating their own accomplishments.
Rules for dating my sister shirt. They icoc to a point where they wanted to start a family, and got sick of the dating rules of the ICC. Anyway, I moved to Stillwater to losing start the church up here. During that time, I really was not on icoc good side of the leaders up here. They told me at one point that I couldn't leave Rules to go on dates. Icoc dating scripts open source usa brides dating icoc. We believe that through the world! Icoc dating rules. International church of christ service on april 6, you tell me icoc. A few church of christ singles site that allows you have been organized. Rules icoc dating pool is limited to rule in the people within your church founded by kip mckean. Dating begins with a male or female initiating a more-than-friends relationship. "Dates" are normally conducted in private, or maybe with a small group of friends, and may or may not have marriage as its end goal. I believe honest evaluation recognizes that modern dating promotes lust and provides a doorway for fornication.
I often encouraged some disciples to visit the churches of my friends and they would never do it. They would not miss a Sunday service for that because they would have to answer to their discipler for their very bad and selfish decision to miss a Sunday service.
He clearly identifies the ICoC as the true church because they only have true disciples in it. Their members have been baptized for the remission of their sins and have Jesus as their King. He says that they have joined the one bodyand therefore there is only one church.
They believe that God's church on earth is not associated with a particular Christian organization or church. They believe in the universal and spiritual church, i. The fact that these individuals are saved does not depend on the fact that they are part of a particular church or have received a particular biblical teaching that is supposed to be the true restored doctrines of the first century Christian church. The universal and spiritual church is referred to by other Christians as the invisible church and only God knows ultimately who is part of the invisible church.
There is also the visible church or the local church. These conservative Christian local churches all have the same basic requirements to become a Christian, and after that it is up to the individual to search the Scriptures and grow in their own biblically based convictions about different subjects.
The ICoC thinks that the invisible church represents all the local churches that are part of their organization with a extremely small number of individuals who are saved but are not in the ICoC these are very rare exceptions. In his mind, he does not understand why somebody would want to leave The Movement of God unless that person had sins in their life. There are other quotes below that talk about the enemies of the church former leaders in the ICoC and state that all of them Jerry Jones, Jim Condon and Rick Bauer have made an alliance with non- believers, deprogrammers and logically by extension, with Satan.
Here is what Kip says about this:. The trashing of the characters of former leaders Jerry Jones, Rick Bauer and Jim Condon in the ICoC and saying in effect that they have joined with the non-believers, and by extension with Satan, in order to oppose God's church in Kip's mind, the ICoCcould not be further from the truth.
They oppose the methods and policies of the ICoC, but they are not in opposition to God's church - all the true Christians in the world who are part of the invisible church.
The International Singles' Service Team, in collaboration with singles ministries around the world, is excited to host the very first ICOC Virtual International Singles Conference "DREAM". Join us for a time of inspirational teaching, fellowship and encouragement, and . Icoc Dating Rules - Unable to load page MODERATORS Conservative. No statement of singles or rules outside the Bible itself is permitted. However, it will be permitted that such lists of beliefs or rules shall be allowed if written in a church bulletin or other published material provided that such is clearly designated as not being a written creed. 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.
They truly and sincerely love God and His church. The ICoC thinks that the majority of the people who leave their church leave because they are not totally committed to God, and that out of bitterness they blame the leaders of the church to justify their leaving.
The reality is that a lot of them have been psychologically abused and are bitter because of that. They are bitter because they realize that they have been duped and were told lies when they wanted truthful answers. They are bitter because they feel that they have been raped spiritually and because they thought that the love they received from other members was unconditional.
They realized with great pain that it was very conditional and dependent upon them staying in the ICoC. Since the beginning of this movement there have been a lot of leaders who have left it because of doctrinal and ethical issues.
When you are a member, nobody talks about that, and if you hear something and start asking questions you are immediately called to a special meeting with your discipler wanting to know why you are asking all those questions. He starts telling you about your lack of trust in God and His leaders. I know this because it happened to me and many other former members.
It is so sad when the leadership of a church does not really want to recognize their unbiblical ways and practices, and truly identify them and deal with them. I know that Kip said that there had been abuse in the past and that they had changed. But this was said in and since that year they have not been any real changes. I know because I lived it for ten months, between May and March To really change, you have to identify precisely what are the methods and the doctrines that are unbiblical and write a statement about the changes and how it is going to be different in the future.
But that has not been the case with the ICoC.
There was only a vague allusion to abuse in the past and that it was not like that anymore, that they had changed.
How many lives will they destroy before they realize that they, the leadership of the ICoC and especially Kip McKean, do not correctly understand who God really is and that they are giving Jesus Christ a bad name?
How long it is going to be before the members realize that they are following a man, Kip McKean, who has big psychological problems, such as self-importance and arrogance. These attitudes are absolutely incompatible with true godly love and real humility. In the next section I will show you an example of Kip's attitude and motives. When I was still a member of the church, I lived with my parents.
I did not want to go live with other brothers and, since I did not have a job, I just could not afford to. I found the TOLC web site.
It was there that I read about the Indianapolis church, affiliated with the ICoC, who left the movement in March When I read the account of the Indianapolis story from the point of view of Ed Powers the former evangelist of the Indianapolis ICoCand then read what Kip McKean said about the whole incident, I could not believe how Kip was interpreting the incident and how he characterized Ed Powers and the members of the former Indianapolis church.
Here is a quote from the summary of the events in February and March written by Ed Powers. He wanted to be able to act on his biblical convictions and change four specific things in the Indianapolis ICoC. At that time He didn't want to leave the movement:.
There was a church meeting on the 27th of February It is clear that Ed Powers did not want to leave the movement, but just wanted to act on his biblical convictions on how the Indianapolis ICoC should function and what it should be taught.
Their was a vote about those four convictions and it was decided by a count of yes6 abstentions and 1 no, that the church was in favor of those convictions and the staff of the church. After that, a lot of things happened and the actions of Kip McKean and the ICoC leadership was a complete shock to me. And when I read what he said about the incident in his 2nd article, I was very disappointed.
I thought he was completely unreasonable and irresponsible to write what he wrote about the Indianapolis situation. Here is the quote from the 2nd article:. I could not believe what I was reading. How could he say those things about disciples who just wanted to live more according to their own biblical convictions? How could he say that Ed Powers was like Korah and that he caused many to loose their faith and turn away from God?
He did not encourage anybody to leave God, but just to live according to their biblical convictions. What follows are different quotes from the same speech. These are long quotes, but it is worth to read it all to see what Kip thinks about the episode in Indianapolis and why he thinks that way, i.
These are different portions of the transcript of the speech.
The words between the are the words from the audience. The emphasis in boldface is all mine. Here are portions of the speech:. But who appointed Kip? God Himself? And acting that way is being insolent to challenge authority. He applies this attitude directly to Ed Powers and the Indianapolis church. But if somebody would find the truth in another little church, that person would certainly join them. It is that clear. Because who would not want to join a church with only true disciples in it.
He says he is not ordering the borders of Israel i. But in fact, this is exactly what he is doing. He is doing it by claiming that his interpretation of the essential and fundamental doctrines of the Bible concerning salvation and many other important teachings is the only one valid and true to God's Word. If other Christians do not believe what Kip believes, they are not true disciples of Jesus-Christ. He cannot escape that conclusion from his own words.
Don't you find that Kip is demonizing his opponents like any politician would do just to keep his members on his side and convinced of his goodness and their evil ways? How do you think a member of the ICoC would be received if he said to his discipler that he wanted to read what Rick Bauer and Jerry Jones had written?
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I do not think he would be encouraged to arrive at his own conclusion about the truthfulness of Kip's claim that these men are doing Satan's work. He always says that he cannot argue with the Bible. It says clearly, for anybody who really wants to obey God, that true churches are only filled with disciples and there were no such church in Indianapolis before they came. It seems all very logical.
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But Kip's interpretation of what a true church and a true Christian is, is just that, his interpretation, not The Truth. In his mind he does not seem to be able to see or acknowledge the difference between The Truth of the Bible and his own personal interpretation of God's Word.
He cannot admit that he can be wrong about his interpretation of certain fundamental doctrines of the Bible. They have to be like God: hard line. He accuses the friends and family members who are on the other side of being loyal to a man Ed Powers instead of to Jesus-Christ.
He pictures himself as being loyal to Jesus and His words and having no choice about being on the side of God and approving His judgement of the ones who have clearly sinned by opposing God and His anointed leaders. And that the members should not be sentimental about that. If they become sentimental they could sin and fall away like their friends and family. What a twisted and unbiblical way to think. On the contrary, those who oppose the unbiblical loyalty that the ICoC asks of their members, are affirming their first loyalty to God and His Word.
He seems to acknowledge no important and real difference between trusting the ICoC leadership and trusting God. He clearly states that the objections that were raised were opposing God. I think he is the one who is destroying the trust of young Christians in God and His church by distorting what the church of Jesus-Christ is really about.
It's about unconditional love and openness towards non Christians and especially other conservative and committed Christians who are not in your own church. It is clear that in the ICoC you cannot object to what is taught and what is practiced without suffering some kind of hard negative psychological repercussions.
He clearly says that they knew the truth but have fallen away from it and that it is not only a difference of opinion remember Romans 14 but an issue of salvation. It is incredible, I have never read something so completely unbiblical and divisive.
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He is the one who cannot accept that committed disciples have different biblically based convictions about certain doctrines and that they want to be able to believe and practice them in the ICoC, without being labeled unfaithful and rebellious to God's anointed leaders.
In the ICoC there is a extremely low tolerance for differences in the interpretation of doctrines and the way they are applied.
And he says to parents and children also, sisters and brothers who are not on the same side to not be sentimental and take this challenge from God as a test in order to reveal where they stand: with God and Kip McKean or with those who are in a rebellion against God and who have fallen from grace.
I have never read something so divisive and twisted from a supposed servant of Jesus-Christ. By these words Kip is showing, for everyone to see, that he does not know Jesus Christ at all and that he distorts the Word of God for his self-serving goals and self-promotion. Even if he does it unconsciously because he really believes he is right, he is responsible because he does not listen to God. The Lord is trying to speak to Kip McKean through his brothers and sisters in Christ, who do not agree with him on all that we have talked about so far.
It would have been very different, and according to Jesus' character of humility and love, if he would have really listen to Ed Powers and the Indianapolis church and had been willing to use this occasion to question himself and the movement in order to change what are clearly not biblical ways of doing things and biblical doctrines. What is really interesting and revealing is when he says in the first of the two paragraphs just above that they should not tell the other side that they have the truth even if they completely believe that they have the truth, and it is very obvious that they do believe it.
He says not to tell them that, not because they really are not sure if they have the truth, but because it would not be effective in snatching them from the fire. That shows clearly that he encourages them not to really say what they believe in their hearts because it could drive the person away and it would be counter productive.
He says you should tell them that you have learned that you should be more humble and loving and that they should talk with you about some doctrines of the Bible.
And he uses the term "hammer off" to express the supposed discussion you would have with them if they accepted to talk with you. Isn't that completely contrary to the spirit of humility and love that Kip said you should tell them you had learned.
But of course, for the ICoC, tough love is what they really need. You have got to tell them how it is and not spare them.
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If you spare them they could go to hell because of their unrepentant hearts. For the rest of this section, I will talk about the speech in general. I have never read something so divisive for the Christian community as these words from Kip McKean's mouth.
He clearly compares the situation of Korah and Moses to Ed Powers and himself - i. God's leader.
He considers the decision of the Indianapolis ICoC to live according to their biblical convictions to be a rebellion against God's appointed leaders the leaders of the ICoC. But, of course, the ICoC leaders are not perfect in their characters and conduct, but only in their interpretation of the Scriptures and their godly discernment.
Sorry, I could not resist a bit of sarcasm. It is so clear to me how completely full of himself Kip McKean is. Doesn't anybody see it? The Indianapolis ICoC, when they made the decision to live out their biblical convictions and tell it to the leaders, were immediately questioned about their faithfulness to God and His church.
For the ICoC, if somebody questions i. I think this conclusion can accurately and clearly be drawn from the Indianapolis episode and all the quotes from the Indianapolis speech. When a person or a group starts to think that anybody who questions them and the way they think and act, are their enemies and want to divide them, we should start to be very careful.
This person or this group is showing signs of a persecution complex, i. From what I have personally experienced and what I have read from the words of the ICoC leaders themselves, I am certain that the ICoC and especially Kip McKean does not allow any dissension from any of the ICoCs doctrines that they consider essential to believe and apply in order to be a true disciple of Jesus-Christ.
See Section D above - the list of the restored doctrines. The list of essential and fundamental doctrines, that you have to believe and put into practice in order to be accepted by them as being a true disciple, is much longer than the list of essential and fundamental doctrines of all of the other conservative and evangelical Christians on this earth. They narrowly define what is a true disciple by adding more and more biblical so they claim conditions to fulfil in order to be considered a true disciple.
They are overreacting to the diluted gospel and doctrines that they perceive to be taught all around them in the Christian world. When you read, in his first article Revolution through Restoration part 1, how Kip McKean first started to be dissatisfied with the Christian world today, you start to understand why there is an overreaction on his part and logically on the ICoC's part.
He already came from an ultraconservative doctrinal background the mainline church of Christand had a predisposition to an aberrantly extreme literal interpretation of the Bible, an anti-intellectual bent and a "us versus them" attitude. He pushed this attitude to a logical conclusion, and invented his own truly and unique Christian movement. He is certainly not the first one to do this in the history of Christianity.
That is why, like all the leaders of political, religious and social movements since human history began, Kip will do and say anything to protect and defend his organization - his church and his kingdom. Of course, he will say that it is God's church and God's kingdom.
For me, Kip has no real integrity and objectivity in the way he sees anything that concerns the Church of Jesus-Christ in this world. He has a distorted view of who God is, and would be surprised and really humbled if Jesus Christ was standing in front of him. What Kip said in that speech would be termed unbiblical without question, and not inspired by the Holy Spirit, by What is the lesson we should learn and retain from the Indianapolis episode?
We should understand that the Word of God can be used, abused and distorted to make it say what the speaker wants it to say. We should also be really worried when we hear a Christian leader completely loose it and say so many unbiblical things and obviously self-serving words in just one speech. I have been hard on the leadership of the ICoC, and especially Kip McKean, because I feel they are responsible before God and will have to answer for their psychological and spiritual abuse of a large number of God's children.
I am going to attempt to summarize what I think is the most aberrant ct of the ICoC - the way they psychologically and spiritually abuse and use undue influence on their members to gain their compliance. I am going to try to show how they can gain willing and devoted compliance from their members.
As those who have studied the battered wife syndrome tell us, a victim of physical and psychological abuse can participate with nearly full consent in their own abuse because they have been rendered servile and without confidence in themselves and their ability to refuse this kind of treatment.
That's how it is with a large number not all of them of members in the ICoC, who participate with their full consent to being spiritually and psychologically abused. They have been taught that the ICoC teaches all the doctrines that the Word of God teaches and that what they teach is the Truth. Further, they have been taught that the ICoC's interpretations are the only correct interpretations of essential biblical doctrines. Once a member has accepted that claim as the Truth, that person is completely at the mercy of the, all too human, leadership of the ICoC.
That person will willingly do what the Bible i. If they are convinced of that, the ICoC leadership does not have to make them do anything they do not want to do because they are supposed to want to obey God's Word and love Him with all of their hearts. And when the members do not want to do or believe something that the leadership wants them to do or believe, they just have to point to God's Word and say that it is there on the Bible's page. The members cannot argue with a leader who does that, because he will immediately be called rebellious, arrogant, unsubmissive, lacking faith in God and in God's anointed leaders.
He can argue only to a certain point and after that he will be labeled all the words that I have just mentioned. Then, because the members want to be humble, forgiving and loving disciples, they will not argue even if in their hearts they are not in agreement with the leadership.
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This is how they make somebody do something that they would not do if left to decide by their own biblical convictions. This is what happens when somebody has personal and strong biblical convictions that are not the same as those of the ICoC. But, when you think about it, most of the members do not even have personal biblical convictions. In my ten months with the church I never saw a Christian consult or talk about a good conservative and evangelical commentary of any book of the Bible.
There are a lot of disciplers who teach disciples and they have not even read, just read, the Bible from cover to cover. They only teach what they have been taught by the ICoC. They would not be able to judge for themselves, if they had the courage to do so, if the teaching that they received is truly biblical or not.
When members resist too much, the ICoC leadership will talk with them Bible at hand with four leaders for one member usually and will persuade them, any way they can, that they should want to obey the Scriptures because they have made a commitment to God to be a disciple and obey Him at all cost.
And when you try to explain to them that you want to obey the Scriptures but you do not agree with how they interpret it, they just don't get it. They will come at you with full force until you break down and obey "freely"or leave the ICoC. In this organization they only want, and need, to have members who are willing to obey God i.
This is how it works in the ICoC. I know because I have experienced it personally and talked directly with others who have lived through it. This is the main reason why I left.
What I want the reader to understand is that the leaders of the ICoC are not more arrogant and self- serving than any human being can become if they do not really humble themselves before God and His Word.
I have seen the same attitude from other Christian leaders on TV, in local churches and from CEOs of big tobacco companies. In this world there are plenty of people who are control and self-serving junkies. Some of them need to think of themselves as giant and God appointed reformers of the truth.
Kip McKean and a lot of his lieutenants fit the bill completely.
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Another thing I want the reader to know especially if you are still a member of the ICoC. There is a lot of committed, Bible believing, conservative and full of love for God and His church Christians out there. As Mulder and Scully would say: The Truth is out there. You will not go to hell or loose your salvation if you decide to leave the ICoC. They want you to think that way because they want to keep you in. But even if they sincerely believe it, it would not make it right or biblical.
The fact is that you do not have to believe exactly what the ICoC believes about the way to be saved and remain saved to actually be saved.
They do not have the monopoly on biblical truth and, more specifically, on how to become a Christian and be saved. Just study and examine, with the help of conservative biblical commentaries if you can, the Scriptures and ask God to help you know Him.
After that, just be open to listen to other committed Christians who are not part of the ICoC and for some of them who do not even know that there is such a church.
There are plenty of abusive churches like the ICoC. They are not alone in teaching and promoting aberrant biblical doctrines and practices. You have to, really and seriously, study the Bible for yourself, with the help of conservative commentaries of different books of the Bible and read the books I have mentioned in this text and in the last section: Books to read.
If you don't do it you will not be able to really and truly judge if the teaching you have received and are receiving is biblical or not. If you are confident about your practical and intellectual knowledge of the Word of God, you should have absolutely no reason not to read some these books.
Isn't it strange that, before you joined the ICoC, when you first started to study the Bible with a member of the ICoC, you were encouraged to question your current religious affiliation if you had one in order to see for yourself the false doctrines and the tradition of men that were taught in your church.
But when you become a member you feel that you have to suppress, in the name of loyalty and humility, the critical evaluation which was encouraged, before you joined the ICoC, by the person who was studying the Bible with you. It seems to me that it is O.
If it is going to bring you in the ICoC, it's good, but if it is going to make you leave the ICoC, it is bad, prideful, arrogant and a rebellion against God's anointed leaders.
Don't you see that they, the leadership of the ICoC, are not really willing for the members to really study the Scriptures seriously but only want them to obey the Bible, as they interpret itand work hard to bring in more people? If you have read this far, it means that, at least, you want to know what the critics are saying, and at most, you are really willing to question yourself and the teaching you have received in order to evaluate the ICoC in the light of the Bible. It will be a tough road if you choose to take it.
But nothing that is worth something in life is easy. I hope I have been of some help to you, the reader, and that you have gained some insight in how the ICoC operates and most importantly what they believe and why they believe it.
Contact me if you want to talk, want more information or want any kind of help. I will be happy to do what I can to help. Thanks for reading until the end of the text. Marc Malafarina marc7 sympatico. Author Mary Alice Chrnalogar reveals how and why leaders of even mainstream churches exert pervasive and unwarranted control over their members. Chrnalogar, a professional deprogrammer and a former victim herself, shows readers how to tell when churches are suppressing freedom of speech, intimidating followers, and distorting the Bible.
This book is valuable both as a self-help guide and as a tool for families and friends to free loved ones from destructive groups. In Twisted ScripturesChrnalogar reveals how even the most strong-willed person can fall victim to these techniques. Instead, when people first start attending the meetings of one of these groups, they are showered with attention and affection.
Subtly, new members are led to believe that the path to a true Christian life is possible only through this particular group. Churches That Abuse tells who the abusers are, how their techniques operate, and what the consequences are for marriages, small children, and teenagers.
Where most books stop after reporting problem areas, this one continues and offers suggestions for those helping victims of abuse. And it can be read beneficially by those who are involved in abusive churches and have no one to turn to. It takes someone of Dr. Enroth's stature and scholarship, as one of the most respected and recognized experts on American religious movements, to take the reader through the experiences of individuals, couples, and families from their first meetings with the various churches that will abuse them spiritually, psychologically, and financially and to let the reader see the inner state such abuse produces.
Taken from inside cover. Cult-Proofing Your Kids. Paul Martin. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, Box 67, Albany, Ohio Time and time again Dr. Paul Martin has seen dedicated Christian young people fall into the trap of cults and fringe churches.
Himself a victim of a cultic fringe church, Dr. Martin now reaches out to other former cult members, assisting hundreds of them to find healing. There is nothing more heartbreaking than losing your child to a cult. But with Cult-Proofing Your Kids, you now have the tools you need to prevent that from happening - or to fight back when it does. The use and abuse of authority is at the center of the controversy known as the shepherding movement. Authority and the effect it had on interpersonal relationships distinguished the movement from every other church and Christian organization.
The Discipling Dilemma. Flavil R. Yeakley, Jr. Nashville: Gospel Advocate, Out of print; see copy under Bibliography: Books.
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What all of this means is that the Boston Church of Christ is producing in its members the very same pattern of unhealthy personality change that is observed in studies of well-known manipulative sects. Whatever they are doing that produces this pattern needs to be changed. When one allows someone to shadow his life as his spiritual leader' and dominate his thinking, he takes on the quirks, oddities, and idiosyncrasies of his discipler.
Smith, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse. David Johnson and Jeff VanVonderen. Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, Churches are meant to be safe places where spiritual leaders help and equip the members for the work of service. There are some churches, however, where leaders use their spiritual authority to control and dominate others, attempting to meet their own needs for importance, power, intimacy or spiritual gratification.
Through the subtle use of the right "spiritual: words, church members are manipulated or shamed into certain behaviors or performance that ensnares in legalism, guilt and begrudging service. This is spiritual abuse, and the results can be shattering. Deeply ingrained spiritual codes of written and unwritten rules control and condemn, wounding believers' spirits and keeping them from the grace and joy of God's kingdom. Believers find themselves enslaved to a system, a leaders, a standard of performance that saps true spiritual life.
Toxic Christianity documents and analyzes the history, beliefs, and practices of the International Churches of Christ, including documents and information heretofore unpublished. Former high-level leader, Rick Bauer, examines the biblical, ethical, and psychological problems which exist in the ICC. This ated version includes extensive transcriptions of sermons, and leaders meetings which reveal the movement's inner-workings.
Advice is given for communicating with an ICC member, and helping a loved one leave this group. Stephen Arterburn, and Jack Feldon. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, There is a line between a healthy relationship with God and a chronic dependence on religion. Sometimes people cross that line. And is there a way back? Toxic Faith offers much-needed answers. Giambalvo, Carol, and Rosedale, Herbert. This book brings together a vast array of helpful information about the International Church of Christ, providing valuable insights from the perspectives of a campus chaplain, mental health professionals, and an exit counselor as well as the poignant and disturbing personal descriptions of eight former members.
I recommend it to former members, families of members, and particularly to current members of the ICC. Taken from back cover. Those who wish to understand one of the most controversial religious movements of today must read this book. It combines insightful commentary with compelling case histories, making the book a valuable aid for anyone who cares about people caught up in authoritarian religion.
Madeleine Landau Tobias and Janja Lalich. Alameda, CA: Hunter House, I wish every cult member, and every family of a cult member, struggling to free himself from the trauma of membership in a destructive relationship could read Captive Hearts, Captive Minds. It offers the powerful healing medicine of understanding. Senior Editor, Reader's Digest.