Christian Unity

This looks like an interesting blog from a church of Christ elder from Georgia, Alan Rouse.  The title of the blog is “Christian Unity”, and it seems that, unlike the hyperconservatives in our area, when he says “unity” he doesn’t mean “uniformity” (thanks, Katherine).  He means actual unity.  Look for his blog to be added to the blogroll!

I would encourage his posting entitled “Advocating Against Unity“.

For any of our local hyperconservatives who may click over to look at the blog, please note that the man is very much Biblical in his arguments, and he seems to have a very Christlike attitude.  Take notes!

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22 thoughts on “Christian Unity

  1. Slight correction: Alan is actually a member of one of the (sort of former) International Church of Christ congregations. While the denominational hierarchy of the ICOC has largely collapsed, it’s still distinct in the same way that Christian Churches are.

  2. Didn’t the International Churches of Christ evolve from the Boston Movement? I thought I read the Boston Movement came from a mainline C of C from Florida where they took reading the Bible literally to an extreme degree. I think the United Church of Christ is the one that Obama is a member of and is totally different from either mainline, conservative or international.

    Question: Are Faithful and Johnny R one in the same?

  3. Alan is a good guy and have had conversations with him in the past. Yes he is apart of the ICOC but no of the Kip McKean type. They are similiar in that they all stem from the Restoration Movement.

  4. Gail: Are Faithful and Johnny R one in the same?

    Randy: Nope. Well, not the same person. He just acts like Johnny – same attitude. They all seem to act this way, even the preacher that left them acted that way on TV, but after he left, he said he regreted acing that way towards people.

  5. another email from Johnny:

    “Thus the quality of the debate would be higher also.”
    no one agrees on this
    any one who can get a debate in person does so
    written is always last resort

    I guess since i have trained myself so well , i should tie my hands behind my back to make up for Clint
    no!
    Jason debated two men
    I debated 2 phelps
    why?
    because they all are weak
    I am not going backwards just for the weak
    let him find someone who can stand on their feet

    even then i am not interested in spending my time with preachers from the church of christ
    I am seeking the lost

    oh but I have friends who are not in a position as we are to have so many lost people to contact

    alas Shawn is too mean?

    Johnny is to experienced
    Shawn too tough

    why not say ” i dont have a tooth brush” ???????
    when you dont want to do something one excuse is good as another

    do you want some names of individuals who do have the time to answer clint?

    Randy: Sure Johnny, go ahead and send them this way. Honestly, the issues Clint pput forth would be worth reading. Seeing you dont want to step backwards ( and fall ) please do send others that are willing to stand up.

  6. Gail,

    The ICOC began at the Crossroads Church of Christ in Gainesville in 1967. A preacher named Chuck Lucas was hired to be “campus minister” (whatever that is) and started a so-called “discipling” program. Basically, it was a very authoritarian system where each less experienced convert would be paired with a mentor to whom they must answer and confess sins.

    One of Lucas’ disciples was a guy named Kip McKean. McKean found a church in decline in Boston willing to let him apply the principles in 1979. Under McKean, the discipling system became even more authoritarian. As Lucas’ star declined (he was eventually fired from Crossroads for reasons of immorality; turned out Crossroads’ elders had been covering up his actions for some time), McKean’s rose. By the late 1980s, McKean had established the Boston church as the head of a group of likeminded churches and himself as its head. In the early 1990s, this body started calling itself the ICOC and formally separated from churches of Christ. (McKean moved to LA around this time, establishing it as the “top church”.)

    There were a number of scandals (financial, sexual, etc.) throughout the 1990s that began the ICOC’s numerical decline. In 2001 or so, McKean resigned as head of the ICOC for “family reasons.” The hierarchy of leadership split, with some churches continuing to follow McKean’s vision and others pulling away. I think the church Alan is part of is in the latter group, though I could be mistaken.

    The ICOC had many problems, but I don’t think a “literal reading” caused any of them.

  7. Jeff,

    One of the teeny-bop magazines did an article on that movement many years ago. The never differentiated that movement from the mainline churches of Christ. My wife (who was in middle school I think) wrote them a letter to correct them that they published along with an apology.

    Just an interesting side-note.

  8. Another interesting sidenote:

    My roommate in college was a member of the ICOC. For the record he was a nice guy, but they operated like a full blown cult.

    He would have to get permission to go on dates. The Elders from his church would set couples up and assign them date nights on Sat. He also had a “prayer partner” that was actually a more senior member he had to report to on a daily basis.

    The ICOC recruited heavily from colleges campuses (this was around ’99); they still might for all I know. They were constantly holding Bible studies in the dorms. These “Bible studies” were actually a team-up session where they would pounce on unsuspecting students. I attended one once and was told I could never come back again since I refused to become a “disciple.”

    I heard they have made major reformations to their church after Kip M. stepped down earlier this decade. Can anyone confirm this?

  9. Here’s a question that I would like answered…

    When these “Church of Christ” cultists speak of unity, exactly WHAT defines “unity”?

    I ask this based on two observations from life:

    1. “Unity” is not a virtue.
    2. Unity is impossible per human effort.

    At most, unity is a characteristic. It is a quality that emanates naturally from certain conditions that evoke harmony.

    Which leads to my second point: unity for sake of unity has never worked. In fact, it has often been disastrous.

    By whose definition of “unity” are we to achieve it? And then if unity is achieved, what is to stop human nature from corrupting it?

    I’ve said before: if Robertson, Oldfield and Fields were to somehow impose “unity” over every Christian in North Carolina and Virginia, it would not last very long. Within a year, there would be infighting among the leadership. Either Robertson or Oldfield would have Fields assassinated and then Robertson and Oldfield would turn on each other. There would be full-blown civil war among the ranks. After those two were both wiped out, the elders and deacons or whoever it is that was immediately under them would begin fighting each other, carving out little “Church of Christ kingdoms” and each one proclaiming that it and only it possessed the one true way to salvation.

    Anyone wanting a real-world example of this would do well to study what happened between Trotsky and Stalin.

    You see, it’s like this: Robertson, Oldfield, and Fields are not out to see precious souls be saved, no matter how much they try to disguise their motivations with abused scripture and slick packaging.

    They want power over those souls. And they want to be the ones who want to declare that they know who is going to Heaven and who is going to Hell.

    And many of you would be sincerely surprised, and perhaps even downright outraged, at what word has reached me regarding how far these men will go toward having that power.

    By the way, I can’t recall reading anywhere in the New Testament where the Apostle Paul sent goons to stalk those who disagreed with him.

    If they were not already in league with the devil himself, they will just as soon destroy themselves, corrupted by their carnal lusts for greater power.

    This isn’t anything that hasn’t already happened before. And it will no doubt happen again.

  10. Thanks Jeff and Corey for the info regarding ICOC. Jeff, I guess when I mentioned they were extreme literalist was because I understood that they told everyone to sell all their possessions because of the verse where Jesus told the rich man (I think that was the one) to do that when he asked Jesus what else he must do.

  11. Chris I see you made the tv again tonight. Is the fame what you thought it would be. You wanted to promote your name , Is it what you thought it would be?

  12. “Chris I see you made the tv again tonight.”

    I did?

    Didn’t see it.

    Was out rehearsing a musical.

    You know, real life stuff. Fun stuff.

    Would you know anything about that?

    Hmmmm… my assumption is, not likely.

    “Is the fame what you thought it would be.”

    Sic transit gloria mundi.

    I assume you don’t understand that, either.

    “You wanted to promote your name , Is it what you thought it would be?”

    Ahem…

    At this time of year, at that late an hour as I’m assuming it was, the only viewers likely to be tuned in to Johnny Robertson or James Oldfield or Norm Fields or whoever, are for the most part mind-numbed sheeple who have already bought into their insane cult.

    I don’t give a flying rat’s butt what those people think of me. And I don’t give a flying rat’s butt what you think of me, “faithful”.

    I’m just a guy trying to do what God would have me do. You don’t speak for Him. Johnny Robertson doesn’t speak for Him, either.

    In fact, Johnny Robertson, James Oldfield and Norm Fields have never spoken for God.

    There are much better people in this world that know my name. I’d rather do right by them…

    …than try to impress some two-bit shysters from Texas who can’t seem to convince any reputable television stations around here that they’re worth having as clients.

  13. Ok, is it just me-or does ANYone understand Johnny’s random mumbo jumbo?! It is completely random, absurd and what the heck does tooth brushes have to do with anything?

    How does anyone read what he says and still think he has credibility? What a crock.

  14. “…than try to impress some two-bit shysters from Texas who can’t seem to convince any reputable television stations around here that they’re worth having as clients.”

    So Chris was the station reputable when you ran for school board? Was it reputable when they gave you 25 minutes for you to answer Johnny and then you were dishonest in your use of it and promoted yourself? It seems that it was reputable until it was pointed out that you were the village hypocrite and dishonest in your use of the time

  15. “Chris is the musical what God would have you do? If it is how do you know?”

    faithful,
    It takes a LOT for me to judge a person in a negative light. I mean, a whole lot.

    I realize that isn’t ideal for the character of a follower of Christ at all. It’s just one more thing of my nature that I struggle with each day to crucify, so that I might live more fully the life that He has given me.

    I fall and fail. Plenty of times. But I trust in the grace and mercy of God to give me a chance to get up again when I do fall.

    Like I said faithful, it takes plenty to make me judge someone to be a bad person. Maybe someday I’ll overcome that as I have many other things in my life. But today’s not looking like it’ll be that day.

    So when I read that you say this: “Chris is the musical what God would have you do? If it is how do you know?”, I am compelled to assess that there are two possibilities about you…

    1. The things you are writing are brilliant parody.

    or.

    2. The things you are writing show everyone that you, faithful, are a blithering idiot.

    (spoken as lovingly as such things can possibly be said)

    Quit being a slave to these cultists, faithful. Life is more beautiful when you think with the brain God gave you.

    By the way, the show runs Fridays through Sundays (7:30 on Friday and Saturday and 2:30 on Sunday) from June 20 through 29, beginning tonight, at Rockingham Community College Auditorium. Tickets are $10 per adult.

    You’re invited to come and watch, faithful. Among the themes explored are forgiveness and choice and not being a slave to legalism and the grace of God, and love. Maybe you’ll take something good home from it.

    As for whether God would have me do it, I’ve wanted to be in Children of Eden for ten years now, and God answered that prayer.

    Tonight is going to be one of the greatest nights of my life thanks to Him. And there is nothing that you or Johnny Robertson or anyone else on Earth can do to take that away from me.

    By the way, who are you or anyone else to say that I was dishonest with my time? I was honest with myself and I was honest with God, and I was honest with other people. And I got to keep a promise that I made last year to some good people.

    I’d say in the greater scheme of things, that is what they call a “bank shot”.

  16. I’m curious, if there was unity in the Church why were there so many corrective letters written? It seems some of the time was spent dealing with administrative issues or sliding towards false teachings.

  17. I’m curious, if there was unity in the Church why were there so many corrective letters written? It seems some of the time was spent dealing with administrative issues or sliding towards false teachings.

    People are fallible and tend to try and do what they want, rather than what God has said. This was true then, is true now, and will be true as long as this world exists.

    Why were the letters full of correction – to help keep the unity that Christ prayed for and the apostles commanded!

  18. But its a sign of disunity, corey have your read and historical accounts of the church, you may find it interesting to read it.

  19. first of all most of what i see on here is a total lie. second of all give proof of a sexual fraud within the ICOC. was it a church as a whole, kip doing it, or some person like some priests have done and messed up giving all a bad name. another thibng is that they do not make you get permission to go on dates. you dont have to get permission to do that. and what is wrong with getting someone more experienced to help you out. its a disciple helping out another disciple. not a master helping a slave or a greater person helping out a lesser. its someone who you trust, someone who you pick, someone who you feel like they can help you. someone who cares. someone who if they see you cursing on the street or not showing up to church and noone knows what going on they call and say whats up man. we missed you at church. they are not there to control you nor do they in anyway. there is nothing cultic about them. the bible is the bible. if you dont like what the bible says then you dont have to follow it. but we still know persecution. Jesus was called a devil. christians are called wicked. the light and darkness will never be friends. some of you guys need to sit down and pray and read your bible. not your interpretation but let the bible speak for itsself. May the peace of the Lord be with you. And another thing i am not a member of the ICOC. I believe what the bible says, what the early christians said about it then what some new teacher came up with in the 1800s. I just simply know that the ICOC is one of the churches that got the doctrine right. how bout you guys challenge them on the bible than on lies your friends told you. Kip McKean gives out his number on his site. you can call him. go to a church and question and disciple at anytime what they believe and how they can use the bible to back it up. I dare you. go to upsidedown21 . com it gives the lists of many of the churches and the numbers to the pastors at them. call the closest pastor up and then get him to give you the number of different guys and girls, older people, and teens and ask them all one at a time face to face about the bible.

  20. These “Bible studies” were actually a team-up session where they would pounce on unsuspecting students.

    You just triggered something for me, those debates that are local here are not a mono a mono debate but the guest vs all the CoC, I just realized that while the speaker debates the rest of the CoC are listening and taking notes to find holes to help the debater.

    So in fact there has not been a single real debate, only one person vs a church. Hardly even!

    Mitch I believe some of the things said in this thread are true non the less all have the ability to fall, and all should be forgiven of those who fall!

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