Letter to the Editor
Imprint, University of Waterloo, October 9 1998
To the Editor,
I’m writing about a serious concern and with a warning to everyone on campus.
Recently, a group called the Toronto Church of Christ (part of the International Church of Christ) has been quite active on campus, inviting people to come out to their Bible studies. This group presents itself as a Christian organization and believes itself to be the only true church, but its beliefs and history has led many to identify it as a cult.
Two very noticeable characteristics of the International Church of Christ (ICC) are “love bombing” and “discipleship.” Prospective members are showered with attention and affection – a very effective means of recruiting people who may be troubled or lonely. They are also assigned a “mentor” to help and guide them, but these relationships tend to be very controlling, often encouraging people to break off relationships with their family and friends.
A 20/20 ABC News report in 1993 stated: “We’ve heard frightening stories from dozens and dozens of people who have left the International Churches of Christ. They say that they felt exploited and lucky to have escaped with their minds and their lives.”
The ICC has been plagued with problems since its inception about 20 years ago. The group was banned from Boston University, where its activities originated, and a Time article in 1992 noted that: “Universities that welcome all manner of oddball groups on campus actively seek to curb these evangelists. Some defectors – who number half the converts since 1979 – charge that the church has done them psychological or spiritual harm.”
The ICC believes that only people who are baptized in their church are saved, but the Bible clearly states: “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9 – NIV)
Many who are part of the ICC don’t realize what they’re involved with, but I would encourage everyone to seek out the truth, for: “[God] wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4 – NIV)
May you know God and may He bless you.
— Warren Hagey