ICC Took Daughter’s Savings

ICC Took Daughter’s Savings

Creative Loafing, November 11 2000

Letters to the Editor

ICC Took Daughter’s Savings

To The Editors:
Thank you for sharing your findings on the International Church of Christ, (ICC), in your October 28 edition (“Strings Attached” by Julie Townsend). It just so happened that I was in Charlotte for the Women of Faith conference where 23,000 women gathered to sing, rejoice that we are Christians, laugh and, yes, cry.

You see, I have a daughter in Atlanta who is a part of this group. She moved there several years ago and was approached while she was getting her car worked on. She was new to the area and lonely and thought it was wonderful. Yes, she was reared in a church-going family and was a member of a Baptist Church. She was required to be re-baptised and all her savings are gone… I mean all her investments and all!!! Our family is sick!! She has to drive for miles when she comes home to go to their group who meet anywhere they can pay high rent on a big building; they do not believe in building a church. She will not go with us to worship together as a family anymore. This has been over a period of three years.

We are not fighting it anymore. We are visiting, writing, e-mailing, sending her pictures of family outings, and making sure she does not forget how much fun we can have and how much we love each other. We do not talk about “her church” anymore, either. We just keep pouring on the news about our church and the great things that are going on there. The fun is always present when all the children come home in the games we play, puzzles we put together, and the retelling of past funny experiences.

I wish there was some way you could re-print your article and stand at the door and hand it to all who come out of their doors on a Sunday. Perhaps they would at least think about it. We parents are so helpless. Our children are grown, on their own and we cannot forbid them to be a part of this organization. I wonder how long it will take them to wake up?

Please understand I wish that you not print my name… they might go after her more.

A Mother of an ICC Member
(Name withheld by request)


Church Demands Commitment

To The Editors:
As an agnostic spouse of a Charlotte Church member, I take issue with most of the allegations in your cover story. This group is more racially, ethnically and economically diverse than the wettest dream of any Myers Park church. Over the years I’ve searched for reasons to tell my wife, “See, I told you so,” but have found none — the church seems to tolerate philosophical differences of opinion more intellectually than most religions I’ve been exposed to. The problem (at least from the perspective of a country with a 50 percent plus divorce rate) is really their emphasis on commitment. Most Americans have devised their own mythical Jesus who tolerates their level of commitment — and speaks from a Bible that accommodates the lavish lifestyles of mega-churches and their parishioners.

What I’ve learned about the Charlotte Church scares me too. God just doesn’t fit into my busy life to the extent this church demands. I mean, hell, it’s almost Christmas. Let’s get into our Volvos and head out to the homeless shelter with a ham. I don’t have time to do the rest, what with the IT career, kids’ soccer, weekend golf and all.

If I had the inclination to truly tackle Christianity, I would choose people who put their faith where their mouths are — and people I’ve met at the Charlotte Church seem to stick strictly to their Bibles (which is weird, to say the least). One almost wishes that they, too, were enlightened by the “freshly revised and updated for consumer convenience” Bible of the enterprising American imagination, a book that simply says that God, as if He were our boss at an uptown bank, is too stupid to tell if you are following His commands. Merry Christmas in advance — see y’all at the mall!

A.A. Jillani
Charlotte


What “Loving Family”?

To The Editors:
Thank you for the eye-opening story about the Charlotte Church and their association with the International Churches of Christ. I’m familiar with the ICC, as a good friend joined them at their church in Boston, which is where the whole thing started. Jerry became deeply involved and they wound up taking his time, much of his money, his friends and his family away from him and what he got in return was a lot of stress and a “loving family” of clueless vultures. But Jerry’s a smart guy and eventually woke up to what had happened. As your article said, once he left, he was ostracized by his “loving family” and was told several times that he was going to hell. These people are sick and don’t even realize it; the sad thing is that they will probably never realize it, since they all support each other in their fantasy world. I won’t even go into what a warped view of the world the ICC pushes, I’m just writing to let you know that there are others out there who have had very bad experiences (to say the least)

Dick Lehaney
Charlotte


Back to other media reports about the International Churches of Christ.