REVEAL’s letter to Al Baird
A letter to the ICC, through its “spokesman”
by the Board of Directors of REVEAL
by the Board of Directors of REVEAL
This letter was sent to Los Angeles ICC elder Al Baird in March, 2003. To date, there has been no response. However, REVEAL’s offer in this letter applies to any ICC congregations/leaders/members, and it is now being circulated publicly for their benefit.
March 26, 2003
The REVEAL Board members would like to offer the services of our organization to help the International Churches of Christ through this time of transition and healing. Since you are the frequent external spokesman for the ICOC, we are making our offer through you. Also, _______ has suggested that you might be open to our offer.
Our purpose since the inception of REVEAL (www.reveal.org) has been to provide information to people about the ICOC so they could make an educated decision regarding the ICOC. Additionally, we have tried to provide a roadmap for people who have left the ICOC and are looking to recover their faith and lives. Remember that most of us have been former members of the ICOC and had to recover our own spiritual lives before we could be much help to others. Our desire has always been that the leaders of the ICOC would recognize the hurtful practices of the movement, repent and change the practices so that God could be honored. It appears that God is moving the ICOC to start a process of change that we have so long prayed for.
If you are familiar with REVEAL, you have probably noticed that we focus on the hurtful practices and their underlying doctrine, but don’t try to establish theological absolutes. We don’t represent any denomination or established religious group. Our purpose is not to be another church, but to provide assistance to those trying to understand what went wrong, why they feel so traumatized and what options they have. Our ultimate guide is the Bible and the Holy Spirit’s leading.
Right now, many of the ICOC members and leaders are going through the same experience we did and are confused and wondering how they got to this place when they thought they were serving God. We at REVEAL feel that, because of our experience with the recovery process, we are in a unique position to partner with the ICOC to plan and implement change. This statement is made to point out a truth we have learned over time, that you have to be outside the system and systemic practices to more clearly see what needs to be done. This has become more evident to us as we have read the letters of apology and other documents coming from the various ICOC churches. There is much confusion and no clearly articulated set of corrective steps, not ones that will facilitate the recovery needed for the ICOC and its members to move on in effective ministry.
We would like to open up a dialogue with willing people in the ICOC to explore how we can work together. If that is successful, we feel that we could help in the following areas:
- 1. Dialogue with ICOC leadership, both staff and volunteer, to help them learn why certain practices have been so hurtful to the members.
- 2. Assistance to the ICOC churches in making plans for the necessary changes.
- 3. Assistance in setting up communications to the members so they can begin to recover from the damage they have suffered.
- 4. Assistance in establishing monitors, whether internal or external, to prevent recurrence of the old problems, thus helping to regain the confidence of your flock.
You may have some other suggestions regarding the role REVEAL can play in facilitating change and the healing process.
Those of us who have come through the recovery process have become well acquainted with resources, both spiritual and secular, that assisted in recovery. There is a large body of knowledge that could be helpful to you in charting the future of the ICOC. After all, you are not the first organization that has fallen into some of the same practices that have brought you to this point. A clearer understanding of these pitfalls will help you.
We don’t claim to have all the answers and recognize our dependence on God to lead us. We do feel that we can help you because of our collective experience. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we believe forgiveness, reconciliation and unity can be our common bond. We now offer our hand to our brothers and sisters in need and pray that we once again be united through our Lord Jesus Christ.
On behalf of the REVEAL Board of Directors,
Art Ryter, REVEAL Board Chairman, RyterA@aol.com
Michelle Campbell, Executive Director
Copyright (c) 2003 by REVEAL. Readers may reproduce or redistribute this letter as they wish, as long as it is copied in its entirety.