[Sigh - Part II]

While I don't think it's a direct response to Kip's 'Portland Story', this was posted on Saturday from the LA ICoC. (BTW - You can follow some of the news on Kip's 'calling of the remnant' and the fallout and responses at both the suddenly renewed, 'outsider' run icocnews and icocinfo, run by an ICOC member and teamed up with Disciples Today, the closest thing to an official ICOC website there is. See links at left.) Some snippets from the LA article, including the 'Statement' in its entirety

After much prayer, we humbly put before you the following call to unity and revival. ... There are many of us who believe that in order for our churches to go forward and multiply, the time has come for us to reaffirm what we believe, set aside a day to fast, pray, repent and forgive, recommit to having the same expectations for everyone in our church, and organize ourselves in such a way that we have a brotherhood that has supporting ligaments (Ephesians 4:16), not just within one congregation, but between the leaderships of congregations.

...

We have assembled a basic list of core convictions and principles upon which most, if not all, of us have lived our Christian lives since the beginning of our walk with God. We have attached a document that states a declaration of these convictions and
principles.

...

STATEMENT OF UNIFIED BELIEFS, PRACTICES, AND BROTHERHOOD "May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." (John 17:23 NIV)
As brothers who have been brought together by the cross of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we have a passion to love, honor, and obey God. As His disciples bonded by the Spirit, the water, and the blood, and saved by grace in the waters of baptism, our collective vision is to carry the good news of Jesus Christ to every corner of the world. From that vision, our belief that the Bible is God's inspired Word, and our intense desire to please the Lord through seeing Christ's church grow in spirit and number, we commit ourselves to the following beliefs, practices, and brotherhood:

Unified Beliefs

  1. Every member in every church is expected to be a true disciple through belief in Jesus as God's Son (John 20:31), a decision to deny self and surrender all to Christ's Lordship (Luke 9:23ff; 14:33), complete repentance of sin (Acts 2:38), confession of Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9), and baptism for the forgiveness of sin and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38) and to be raised to a new life. (Romans 6:1-4)
  2. Every member in every church is to share in Christ's mission to seek and save the lost. (Matthew 28:18-20)
  3. Every member in every church is expected to be totally committed to the body life of the church which includes attendance at all the services, consistent sacrificial giving, and joyful and growing "one another" discipling relationships. (Romans 12:10, Hebrews 3:12,13; 10:24-25)
Unified Practices
  1. For the purpose of outreach, as well as mature discipling, every member will be in a small group. ( Acts 20:20, Colossians 4:15)
  2. Every member in every church is to financially support both local and world missions. (Matthew 28:18-20)
  3. We are committed to remembering the poor. (Galatians 2:10)
  4. We are committed to women having a ministry role in training other women. (Titus 2:3-4)
  5. We are committed to providing resources to supply leadership for our young people, to insure ministries such as the teen and campus thrive and multiply. (Acts 19:9, 10)
  6. We are committed to free and respectful communication within the brotherhood. (1 Peter 2:17)
  7. We are committed to obedience to the command of 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1, and in that spirit expect that disciples should therefore only date and marry disciples.
  8. While we recognize the need for local decision-making, we are committed to our congregation soliciting and receiving outside godly input and influence. (1 Peter 5:5)
Unified Brotherhood
  1. Missionary Unity: We are committed to practically coordinate resources for the evangelization of the world and provide necessary representation and cooperation. (2 Corinthians 8)
  2. Kingdom Leadership: We are committed to a collective leadership that will maintain unity, foster revival, and advance the gospel. (John 17:20-23) While we understand the need for each congregation's leadership to make the decisions regarding their local work, we also recognize the need for leadership on a Kingdom level to meet needs such as, cooperation and fulfillment of missions support, regional coordination of training and discipling, provide accountability to these beliefs and practices, when necessary, and provide assistance to meeting staffing needs, when asked, etc.
  3. Conflict Resolution: We have all born painful witness to the past three years' turmoil fueled by an unbridled spirit of suspicion, accusation, judgment, generalization, and public slander. We firmly commit, with this in mind, to Biblical conflict resolution and loving confrontation. We resolve to address concerns and disagreements as privately as possible, as Jesus' teaching directs (Matthew 18:15ff) Though we affirm the charge for all disciples to privately and gently confront sin (Galatians 6:1, 2 Timothy 2:24) and the rare need for leaderships to publicly
    mark false teachers, we commit, in the spirit of family, to making every effort to guard one another's churches' and individual reputations in what we publicly say and write.
Under the submission and Lordship of Jesus Christ, the leaderships of the following churches commit to these unified beliefs, practices, and brotherhood "…that the world may believe" (John 17:21 NIV) "…and that by believing…have life in his name." (John 20:31 NIV)

Los Angeles International Church of Christ

Both this and Kip's latest seemed timed (this overtly so) to be just prior to the up coming leadership conference. It seems that those who were once in charge are jockying for position to shape the future ICOC. OK, to be fair, that's the cynic in me talking. I probably shouldn't say any more until I've prayed more.

4 Comments

As someone who hasn't been involved in ICOC, I have to say that a couple of things about that list bother me.

"Every member in every church is expected to be totally committed to the body life of the church which includes attendance at all the services, consistent sacrificial giving, and joyful and growing "one another" discipling relationships."

So if you aren't there every time the doors are open you aren't "totally committed"?

"For the purpose of outreach, as well as mature discipling, every member will be in a small group."

The scripture given doesn't support that.

the need for leadership on a Kingdom level

God is the leader on a Kindom Level.

Doug, I've posted links here from the Blog in My Own Eye (http://keithbrenton.blogspot.com) and hope you'll join me in prayer for all who are affected.

Hey Doug,

Who knows what's coming next. I think the big thing is that there is still a lot of fear. I'm sure there is fear that leaders will choose the LA option or the McKean option. Maybe there is fear that leaders will not choose either option. My fears are about friends in other states: will they see me as lost or somehow less of a Christian? Will I lose my friends and family to something I perceive as ungodly?

It's all about fear. So, I pray to be unafraid. Bad things happen to good people and I don't promise to understand why God does that. I do know that I can count on God, even if I am sad.

I know, I sound all preachy. I'm saying this mostly to myself. I can wrestle with a man or wrestle with God. Only one will draw me closer to God.

I wish you all the best. Still praying.

This one makes me angry I think because it does little to address hurts or change.

"We have all born painful witness to the past three years' turmoil fueled by an unbridled spirit of suspicion, accusation, judgment, generalization, and public slander. We firmly commit, with this in mind, to Biblical conflict resolution and loving confrontation."

I mean, what is that about? The "turmoil" was a fire because there was fuel. The accusations were founded and people were hurt. And, to my knowledge, those hurts weren't resolved.

It sounds like your right that people are jockeying for power instead of jockeying for Jesus! And, if their "committed to a collective leadership that will maintain unity, foster revival, and advance the gospel" who says they should be it? If it's the same people, what changed? Did they repent?

One other thing on Kip that I thought about. How are is kids doing? Are they in the Portland church? If not then are they in a church that Kip thinks is committed? The point is, under his rules are they "fall aways" And, if so, according to his rules, why is he a leader? I don't know does anyone know how his kids are doing?

There is much more I want to say but I need to pray and not be on fire as much.



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  • This one makes me angry I think because it does little to address hurts or change. "We have all born painful witness to the past three years' turmoil fueled by an unbridled spirit of suspicion, accusation, judgment, g...

  • Hey Doug, Who knows what's coming next. I think the big thing is that there is still a lot of fear. I'm sure there is fear that leaders will choose the LA option or the McKean option. Maybe there is fear that leaders wi...

  • Doug, I've posted links here from the Blog in My Own Eye (http://keithbrenton.blogspot.com) and hope you'll join me in prayer for all who are affected....

    Keith Brenton
    [Sigh - Part II]
  • As someone who hasn't been involved in ICOC, I have to say that a couple of things about that list bother me. "Every member in every church is expected to be totally committed to the body life of the church which includ...

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