Sunday, September 09, 2012

It's all fixed! Mike Taliaferro HotNews Editorial

Fascinating editorial from Mike Taliaferro, claiming "it's all fixed!" See article below.

Has a new era begun in the ICOC? Editorial 

The 1980's and 90's were a heady period of growth and expansion for the International Churches of Christ. We exploded into over 100 nations, and planted 500 churches worldwide. As the 90's finished, however, our growth had stopped, our US churches were shrinking, and there were some problems we needed to face.

When the new millennium dawned, our issues became a full blown crisis. We lost 30% of our members, and what followed was a decade of reflection, repentance, and reorganization. As a fellowship we took several big steps. We apologized to each other. We held painful open forums in many congregations. Leadership practices were examined, and we repented where needed. The appropriate people were fired. We abolished worldwide offices of authority. It was a painful yet productive decade, and through the power of God we watched as He righted the ship and healed our wounds.

Today we are a fellowship of churches that loves God's word and is eager to spread his message. We have tossed out the old pride and braggadocio, and (hopefully) replaced it with a humble attitude about ourselves, and toward other Christians outside our churches.

Honestly, I have never been more proud to be a part of the ICOC. We always said that if we got off track, we would examine the Bible, correct our mistakes, and recommit ourselves to the mission. I believe that is exactly what has happened.

So has a new era begun? Only time will tell, but it seems that "the storm is passing over." Indeed, the clean up may be finished as well. Over the last few years, the climate has changed from one of looking backward to looking forward. Instead of correcting old mistakes, we are now focused on scaling new heights. Members around the world are comfortable with the way churches are cooperating. Trust has broken out. People are able to work together in exciting and productive ways.

The World Summit in San Antonio was a benchmark in our collective path. It was a celebration and conference like we have never had before. Not only was it our biggest gathering by far (roughly 17,000 attended), but it was perhaps the most positive and forward looking event in over a decade. HotNews believes we have crested the summit, and are now truly advancing. Yes, we will face new problems in the future. And yes, we will need to be continually vigilant about not repeating past mistakes. But for the first time in recent memory, it appears we are back on the move, eyes forward, with plans and dreams and visions of helping others to know Christ.

In a word, we are leaving the distrust and reflection of the last decade behind, and moving into an era of growth and progress for God. That is what we are sensing and praying for here at HotNews. I for one will be excited to see what God has in store for us in this new and very promising decade. Tell me what you think.

Mike Taliaferro


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just learned something. Back when ICOCers were using appreciated shares of as their contributions to HOPE, they wouldn't allow HOPE to sell it until they had liquidated their other shares. Charities universally liquidate gifts of appreciated stock immediately, so that they're not taking market risk (and HOPE had all the more reason to do so, given that they probably had a lot of that one stock given to them at the same time). So people like Johnson got to take a big tax deduction on an artificially inflated stock, prevented a big block from being sold until he got out, and ensured that when HOPE sold it it would be worth less than the value of the "gift". And if he and his freespending buddies did that to HOPE, you can be sure they did it to the NYCCOC, too. Once again, the bride walks down the aisle covered in blood at the hands of the wedding party, and virtually no one tries to stop the wedding.

7:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never seen this site before.
I find it interesting, if a little
disconcerting. I just wanted to
remind any ICOC member looking on
here, who is thinking of posting,
of Proverbs 26:4, and yes I know
what the next verse says. My point
is, stop posting in anger at this
person who has made it her mission
to mock our church. Righteous
indignation is one thing, but
remember also Romans 12:19. If God
wants this person to stop doing
this and come back to faith, he
will find a way, and I would be
willing to bet it will not be over
the Internet.

To those of you who think all ICOC
members are cult-members who think
of nothing else, I can legitimately
tell you this: I think about a lot
of things besides the ICOC. That
does not mean, however, that I do
not think about God in everything;
I think there's a difference. My
point is there are people in my
church who are successful and not
brainwashed, in fact I think they
make up the majority.

About Mike Taliaferro's message
about the church being "all fixed,"
Mike never said anything about the
church being "all fixed." He said
we had gotten over some serious
problems among our leaders and
among our practices, and were on
the path of repentance. If you're
doubting that the ICOC has changed,
this is one of the last things that
Mike said as he closed out the
World Discipleship Summit with a
prayer: that only God knew the real
number of saved people in the
world. A full out acknowledgment
that members of the ICOC are not
the only saved people in the world.
I know, I was there.

Also, get straight the difference
between the ICC and the ICOC. My
guess is there a lot of members of
the ICC that are true believers and
true brothers and sisters in
Christ, but also some that are not,
just like in the ICOC. However, the
ICC has connotations, if not
connections, to Kip McKean's new
church, the City of Angels
movement, or the Sold Out
Discipling Movement, or whatever
it's actually called. He is most
definitely out of leadership in the
ICOC, and is actually noted as a
man with whom ICOC members should
not associate if it can be helped.
Not because the ICOC leaders want
everyone to stay away from people
that are different, but because he
is dangerous and divisive. He has
preached about how the ICOC is evil
and all its members are going to
hell, and he has set up churches in
cities with ICOC churches, which he
helped to plant, very likely trying
to gain converts from his old
movement, though that is
speculation; I've never talked to
him about this. It appears that,
unfortunately, Kip has not repented
of the pride that prompted leaders
of the ICOC to ask him to leave,
though we certainly pray for him to
do so.

At last, I apologize for the length
of this comment

12:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The following comment is by the same
guy as the one who started with: "I
have never seen this site before. I
find it interesting, if a little

Finally, to the author of this
blog, I don't know what happened to
you in the ICOC, but I can tell you
this, the Christians of the world
are sorry if we ever did anything
to hurt you. I'm not saying that
the ICOC is the only group of
people in the world who are saved,
but all Christians are sorry when
someone wanders from the flock, or
consciously makes ridiculing a
piece of the flock her mission. I
apologize again if that offended
you; I'm trying to be as loving as
possible while I am writing this.
Just trust me when I say, I'm not
angry at you, and I don't hate you.
No Christian should hate, ever. God
loves you, and he is seeking you
right now. All true Christians of
the world, ICOC or not, are seeking
you out, maybe not you
particularly, but they are looking
for those who are lost. The ICOC
has made some mistakes in the past,
and we will probably make some more
in the future, but we strive every
second of every day to live like
disciples of Christ, and model our
church after the church we see in
Acts. I'm not telling you, I'm not
ordering you, I am asking you to
forgive and put the pain of the
past behind you. You might be
surprised how much brighter the
world is when you do not carry
around some sort of burden of hate
or whatever you feel toward the
ICOC. And please stop implying that
Christians are mindless, idiotic
drones. You keep saying that this
blog is for intelligent people and
Christians can go pray to God or
read their Bible. If that is not
what you meant, I apologize for
assuming, but if it is, then I can
point you to a few members of the
ICOC who graduated from Ivy League
schools who I hope it would not be
an insult to your intelligence to
talk to.

12:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, those last two comments
were probably better placed on the
topic of the status of the ICOC. My
apologies. I'll go repost them now,
if you don't mind.

12:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in the ICOC in the early 2000's. I've seen a lot. Sin happens and the world will only get worse. One thing I know is that God's word addresses these things (sin) and it's by living out the bible (love) that we can make a difference. I moved over to the ICC with my wife in 2011. I'm glad we did because the love that I saw, the faith I witnessed, mercy I was shown (by God through his disciples) helped me to believe again... believe that God cares and that I should make God my first love. When I arrived I witnessed preaching about how disciples from the former movements (Church of Christ and ICOC) were our family in Christ and that we need to treat them as such. And this preaching is not a local thing, it's a movement thing that is preached.

Whatever your experiences were, I cannot say they aren't true. I remember in 2005 witnessing some of my friends being called to Portland from our ICOC church to be a part of the new ICC movement. That was seen as divisive. I can assure you that does not happen today. So if your speculations are on past stuff that has happened, I understand. But I would be careful and stay on the path of truth because airing opinions as if it were truth is evil and as followers of Jesus we must steer from slander and preach only truth.

1CORINTHIANS 13:6 (truth = love)
PROVERBS 18:2 (opinions = foolishness)
JOHN 8:32 (truth is freeing)
EPHESIANS 4:31 (do not slander)

5:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ironic thing is that is that Kip spends quite a bit of his spare time on the phone taking calls from anyone that wants to call him to listen, apologizing, explain what he's doing these days, and he's trying to lead us to be sold-out for God. If people want to be cold or lukewarm, it's their perogative. Kip's trying to lead a movement calling people to the scriptures. Jesus was zealous for God along with many great examples of Godly men. In this movement I've seen so much mercy, grace, sacrifice, love, and humility. I was part of the Bay Area Christian Church (formerly San Francisco Church of Christ) led by Russ Ewell. And I can tell you right now that I was part of a lukewarm culture that I did nothing to change. I got bitter and simply shutdown. The people weren't the problem, my heart was. I didn't know how to deal with the sin I saw righteously around me.

And I'm a firm believer that when our church (of disciples all around the world) is not united, the autonomous parts will eventually die spiritually. And I believe that's how we ended up with a lukewarm culture. Simply because the body is a whole, and no part survives all on it's own. We need one another and the scriptures encourage this:

1COR12:12-26 (one body- we need one another!)
Genesis11:5-6 (an example of unity succeeding)
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (there is strength in numbers working together)
Romans 12:4-5 (we are all just parts making up one body)

Just for the record, Kip also knows that not giving "special contribution" is not a sin. We disciples of Christ do not need to give special contribution. The world, however, needs us to give. I see exactly where my money's going and I've seen it come back to help my wife and I when we needed it twice. And if you don't want to share your faith, don't. But someone "on fire" for God looks a lot like someone grateful for God's love that they would want to share it with others (ie. Jesus). So sharing faith or not is not the issue... it's the heart behind the action.

8:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are all the comments from people still in the cult? And why are they looking at this site anyway?
I think all the members should do more investigation. Read up on what happened in Indianapolis, or to the Fuquas. The things that happened in these matters cannot be of or by the God of the Bible, just power struggles. Ha! Power struggles in a church. Religion is truly the enemy of God.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I started reading some of these articles and got a little sick; it brought back so many memories but there was a sense of catharsis and compassion.
I was recruited into the "movement" decades ago. You know the drill: Volleyball game/Bible talk/1:1 studies/targeted, canned studies/love bombing/count-the-cost/splash; baptism/discipleship partner/love bombing stops/produce, produce, produce (rinse & repeat -- "go to all nations and make clones"). Fortunately I got out, and even more fortunate, I found faith again. Most don't find faith post-leaving, too many mental roadblocks with that church(Boston movement) & church leaders being THE (only) "Kingdom".
If you're trapped in this cult-like rat-race, just leave. Leave.
Yes, you had to "Count-the-costs" before you were baptized. You left everything for the "kingdom" (disciplining movement) -- you left loved ones, your ideals, your possessions -- everything. Now you have this new family. So what happens? You leave the church and you have nothing to go back to. You know you will be excommunicated by the church so you'll have no one -- just an emptiness and non-blinking answering machine and a dread of going to hell from being prideful, or arrogant, or whatever the new buzzword is.
Not true. It's ok to admit to your family you made a mistake. Only the jerks will laugh and say "I told you so". Most will show a little love. There are so MANY good churches out there; not perfect, but churches and pastors who will welcome you and some will let you shed a tear in Sunday school, in an office, or during church. They aren't perfect like the church of Christ claims to be but that in and of itself will bring healing, the unperfectness of people who don't have all the answers and are on the same journey as you. Sit in a Methodist, Baptist, Catholic, Presbyterian, Lutheran,Pentecostal, or Messianic tradition and feel the love of Christ and the Holy Spirit's presence from other believers. Little by little you WILL get your faith back.
It's been over 20 years since I left, and I'm telling there IS joy and life after courageously leaving the movement. It stings for a while -- that was the intention in them "counting the costs" with you prior to your baptism -- but to grasp again the mystery and transcendence of God, and enjoy the fellowship with many, many believers will wash away all that pain.
You hardliners who can't leave because you have too much invested -- ICOC/ICC wars -- have fun with that.

11:20 PM  

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