International Churches of Christ
(Oahu Church of Christ)
As one reforms their life (repents), goes through the curriculum and as the leaders see the evidence of a changed life with a commitment to be a disciple, they are then ready for baptism where they can actually be saved.
"We are not going to baptize someone who's not going to have a quiet time. We ask, we look, is this person beginning to imitate mature Christians? If not they don't have a learner's heart . . . if they don't have a learner's heart . . . if someone wants to be in the kingdom, they're gonna start imitating the people that are in the kingdom and if they're not imitating, they're not a disciple yet, they don't have a learner's heart yet." (Randy Haragan, Go and Baptize Disciples Only, audio tape, 1991 SW Conf.)
What they are requiring people to do is imitate Christians before they are Christians so that they can be baptized to be Christians. This makes no sense at all. If one can be a disciple and live as a Christian before hand then what is the difference of having the H.Spirit. They also become the dispensers of God's grace, making the decisions of when one is ready to be saved. Nowhere in the New Testament can we find this kind of qualification. The decision to become a Christian is made by the person alone when they see what Christ did for them.We don't see any evidence of discipleship in scripture being done in this manner.
People need to be taught the Gospel alone saves. The two biggest groups that were saved in Acts 2 and 4 were not discipled. There are no rigorous courses to go through,they were saved immediately. We need the Holy Spirit first to help understand and live the life, not live the live to receive the Holy Spirit. This is the first steps of control seen by their leaders, dictating to disciples when they are ready to take the plunge to be saved.
Kip McKean said, "I taught what was clear in Acts 11:26, SAVED=CHRISTIAN=DISCIPLE, simply meaning that you cannot be saved and you cannot be a true Christian without being a disciple also . . . I taught that to be baptized, you must first make the decision to be a disciple, then be baptized. I saw that people in and outside of our fellowship had been baptized without this understanding and then, in time, developed a disciple's commitment to make Jesus Lord of their entire life. I taught that their baptism was invalid because of a retroactive understanding of repentance and baptism was not consistent with Scripture". (UpsideDown, issue 2, pg. 7 & 8)
("For by grace, God washes each believer in His sons cleansing blood in baptism and simultaneously adds them to one body universal" (UpsideDown, issue 11, page 13.) Water /blood whoever read or heard of such a thing! Did not blood come out of Jesus body on the cross ? Can anyone find scriptures to support this so called clear teaching of theirs?
Kip McKean taught that for one to be baptized you must first make a decision to be a disciple. People's baptisms were invalid if they did not have a retroactive understanding of repentance and baptism which was not consistent with Scripture. He states only a true church will be composed of disciples.
They claim one is born again at baptism. They validate this with Jn. 3:5, Titus 3:5, "through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit." Mistakenly, they take washing or cleansing to mean water every time it is seen in Scripture. We find Jesus saying, "You are already clean by the word I have spoken to you." Jn. 15:3, We find regeneration is always related to the work of the Holy Spirit. God uses His word in unison with the Spirit to do his work. Cleansing does not always relate to water. it should be apparent there are symbols used of the spirits work.
Lordship Study Church of Christ, We are the ". . only major group I know who baptizes those willing to be disciples for forgiveness of sins."McKean states, "I have never taught anyone has to be baptized into the Boston church to be saved . . . however, I do not know of any other church or group movement that teaches and practices what we teach Jesus taught" He goes on to say, "If this is what God teaches in the Bible, then we are Gods movement". (UpsideDown, issue 2, pg. 8) What if one proves that this is not what the bible teaches? Does this mean they are not Gods movement. What they state is that baptism is a work yet we are saved by faith - in the working of God at baptism.
(The Great Commission, audio tape, Weger/Rock/Hamann/Fulcher/Field) (speaking of another disciple) ". . . and when he was baptized, all of his sins and all of his past was washed away and he was made a new creation with a new purpose. And that purpose is to make other true disciples . . . you see, a disciple will always reproduce himself because that's what disciples do. And to baptize anyone who's not a disciple is absolutely ludicrous, because you've done nothing but get their hair wet."
Marty Fuqua, 1990, West Coast Conf., One Hundred Times As Much, audio tape, #1005, "That God is going to wash away your sins in the waters of baptism, and that you're going to be raised out of the waters of baptism, a new person, a new child, a baby . . ."
Membership is measured by one's baptism. Baptism is conversion and regeneration. You will hear reports such as 67 baptized in this city, 80 in that city. In UpsideDown Magazine, vol. 1 issue 2, they featured many of their key church leaders and evangelists from around the world. It reads like this, so and so was converted and trained in London, so and so were baptized and trained in Boston, so and so from a mainline background were converted. Gordon and Teresa Ferguson were baptized in San Diego through the reconstruction. What you will not hear is about someone being "saved". This terminology is rarely used.
Inconsistencies are numerous. While they teach only adults can be baptized, McKeans brother, Randy, baptized his seven year old in 1986. Since baptism saves someone, he is one of the few younger children privileged to enter the kingdom.
They explain away secondary baptisms as people re-examining their lives, coming to the conclusion they were not baptized as true disciples. "In the world's eyes they were re-baptized, in God's eyes they were baptized in Jesus Christ." (UpsideDown, issue 2, pg. 10) Members are told not to mention baptism since they know it is an area of contention. (They refer to needless arguments Titus 2:9) This subject is taught extensively in their First Principles and discipleship studies. If someone is unaware of their own teaching on baptism, which occasionally happens, it is because they were pushed through discipleship too quickly to have another member.
In 1990-1991 there were 39,986 baptisms in the movement, (not including those who were placed in the movement without baptism). They lost 23,636 former baptized members. This is a rate of 59% loss, so it took 39,986 baptisms to produce a growth rate of 16,350. This loss of membership was more than the total membership of 21,254 in 1989 (Boston Bulletin, 1991). Not all is well in Waterloo.
Those in this movement have currently resorted to using quotes of the early Church Fathers to validate their views on baptismal salvation. One would think the Bible has ample evidence to prove otherwise. The overall teaching of the early church fathers would be against their position, however, if one looks hard enough, they are capable of finding a few that would agree with their movement. If a tradition is not upheld in the overall teaching of the Bible, it should be abandoned unless their is sufficient evidence not to. I do have to admit there was much more respect back then for the act of baptism then what is going around today. But this still does not verify salvation via water.As we go on we will see how easy a small wind can blow a house of straw down.
Articles are taken from the spiral bound book International Church of Christ Birth of a Cult. (click> on books)