Why Do I Care?

There are probably a few folks out there – all right; all two or three of you – who wonder why I bothered blogging about or why I would care anything about what happens in the ICOC. After all, the reaction of most people in the fellowship of Churches of Christ to trouble brewing within the International Churches of Christ has usually been a grumpy and very un-Christian “Well, good.”

Well, it’s not good. Christians are Christians, no matter what the sign reads above the door of their meeting place.

And I have a debt of gratitude to one particular group of believers, then known as “Boston movement,” who met on the campus of Butler University in Indianapolis many years ago. They expressed first an interest, and then a deep love, for the soul of my younger sister and persuaded her that Christ still loved her in spite of some of her self-destructive tendencies.

Their persistence in what is now known as “discipling” her went far beyond trying to reach goals or quotas, and had an effect that has also persisted. My sister, now a married mother of three, has been a Sunday school teacher and care group leader among many other roles in her walk with Christ since then. Those believers reached out when our parents, as well as my older sister and I, could not have reached her – and I will always be grateful for that.

I don’t have to agree with everything that folks in the ICOC teach and believe. (Hey, they tried to recruit my dad in those days to be an elder at their church … isn’t recruiting elders from other churches a pretty peculiar way to get them?)

They loved my Sis, and nothing can ever change that or its effect on her life.

And, by heaven, even if Jesus Himself were to write them out of His will (ridiculous thought!), I would still love them right back for that.

That’s why I care.

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9 thoughts on “Why Do I Care?

  1. Thanks for that Keith, this applies to all denominations who strive to get souls to walk with Christ. We do not have to agree on all things doctrinally to be one with Him. Just as the ICOC gets a bad rep from many in our heritage, the CoC gets a bad rep from many other heritages.

  2. I too am glad you explained. I told one of my fellow bloggers from the Episcopal Church today that our similiarities were much greater than our differences. When we truly try to follow Jesus only I think we will find this to be true more and more.**I could never be Episcopalian though, I would have to look up how to spell it everytime I wrote a check**

  3. I guess I don’t run in your circles, Keith. I have not found much of a glea in the eye of those who hear of problems in the ICOC. Quite the opposite, there is great hope for reconciliation with them so that they are no longer “them” and “us,” or at least that there will be mutual recognition and cooperation.Many of my friends are in the ICOC from Freed-Hardeman days and the early “Crossroads” era.I am hopeful as you are for renewal among them and us….there I go again, “us” and “them.” 🙂

  4. Glad to hear it, John Mark!I’ve been enjoying posting some archival articles from New Wineskins back issues on the new site recently, and one of them was your very uplifting “Easter Sunday, Every Sunday” from the November-December ’99 issue.I’m hoping were less than a month away from launching the new site now.

  5. Keith, I’m quite encouraged by your reading my blog and your comments on the present situation. I long for more unity and communication between our fellowships. I’ve found that mainly online so far, althouhg it’s led to a meeting or two. It’s a good thing.I owe you some linkage on my blogroll. I’ll get to that soon.BTW – My wife was baptized in the Indy ICOC church, back in 1988 before the ‘big split’. Could it be that she and your sister were there together?

  6. Well, < HREF="/profile/6330642" REL="nofollow">salguod<> plugged yer site… 🙂I’m one who “switched” from CoC to ICOC in ’87. Surprisingly to many on both sides, I maintained my True Friendships all along (a very few CoC “friends” stopped talking to me and I’m not sure to this day that it had anything to do with the Discipling Movement). I continued to visit CoC’s with friends and family. While some ICOC folks had been misled to believe CoC’s were not True Disciples and wondered about my allegiance, the ICOC I was part of (NY) actually hired me (no, not as a minister, but as an administrator) with the full knowledge that I had no intention of dropping friends I knew to be disciples.In other words, not *all* ICOC< ->CoC bridges got burned by either side.While it’s sad that many on both sides have missed out all of these years, I’m excited about the future. I’m now in a smaller city and smaller Former ICOC and have great hopes that our teens, for example, will get to build friendships with spiritual teens in some of the local CoC’s. I’m not stupid or blind – I know some CoC’s have really worldly teens in them as do some ICOC’s. Two of our girls are dating nice, but non-religious boys from their schools. But knowing a local CoC youth minister gives me confidence that our kids will be the beneficiaries once our folks let their guards down and let themselves believe they’ll be accepted.Thanks so much for your concern and request for prayers. I can see so much that can happen that I know will please God from all of this.

  7. Keith, We, too, have family as well as many childhood friends who found themselves with the ICOC. One thing that really blessed my life was a production done in Boston called “Upside Down” which is a musical based on Acts. When Jim’s cousin loaned the original 4 hour video to us, it sat in our house for several months before I ever watched it. When I finally played it, I was captivated! It is one of the best things I have ever seen. Our kids watched it again and again. One note of interest is that Jesus is played by an African-American. God Bless!

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