DJ on Church Unity

I know I said I would be rather quiet for a while, but I just spent my lunch hour reading an excellent article and thought I should share it with you. Douglas Jacoby has displayed on his web site a link to an article entitled Unity on Three Levels for a while now. It is highly appropriate for the current goings on in the ICOC, namely Kip’s calling out the remnant, the LA unity proposal and now the group charged with working out a new unity proposal. DJ covers the Biblical issues and church history lessons far better than I would have, please go read it.
To summarize my thoughts on this current move to a more unified brotherhood of churches, I am firmly against any agreement that attempts to regulate beliefs, practices or opinions. In the 2,000 plus years of Christianity there have been many of these documents and they have contributed more to division among God’s people than anything else. I want no part of such a document and hope that nothing like that results from these current discussions.
I am all for church cooperation, ‘interdependence’ as DJ puts it, and would be in favor of some sort of organizational agreement to allow us to better share the burden of supporting other churches, both ‘missions’ work and churches that simply need help, and serving the poor. It seems that HOPEworldwide is already in place and perfect for the latter, we simply need to figure out the former. Sorting that out, however, is simply organizational. There need be no regulation of belief or practice and adding in anything like it will actually hinder that work rather than help as it will discourage some from signing on to the effort.
Please go read DJ’s article. It’s an excellent piece which I think sums up where true unity starts (between you and God) and the levels that must be built if we intend to be a unified brotherhood.

Remodeling, Homework and Other Ramblings

Things have been sparse here at for a few weeks. Let me tell you why.
I just got back from a week off of work to do a bunch of work around the house. We had a patio put in in the back yard. That’s the one thing I’m not doing, but I did have to do some running around looking at pavers.
We’ve also painted. A lot. We started by painting our master bedroom which has a vaulted ceiling, a plant ledge and an integral bathroom (read: lots of corners to cut in.) The girls thought it was pretty funny to see Daddy laying up on top of the plant ledge with a paint brush. We also painted all 3 girls rooms and Maria’s office. Maria came up with this cool idea, inspired by some scrapbook paper, to paint a border of circles in her office. 5 different size circles with 5 different colors all with a white border takes a long time to paint. It looks cool, though.
All this paint was in preparation for new carpet (no drop cloths to trip on). The carpet for the office, hall, stairs and master bedroom came on Wednesday. The rest will be in next week sometime. I’ve learned that getting new carpet is about 85% of the work of moving (move all the furniture out, move it all back in), but in the end instead of a brand new house you just have new carpet. Still nice though.
Of course, while we had our old wood frame full wave water bed taken down, it seemed prudent to replace the 13 year old mattress. Well, that turned into a shopping spree for a new soft-side water bed and then into all new bedroom furniture. That arrived on Saturday. The visits to furniture stores to look at beds led us to a can’t-refuse deal on a dining room table. We were considering one anyway, so why not? That comes on the 11th.
So I’ve been busy. The cool thing is that through the miracle of home equity, all this stuff plus a bit of credit card debt will cost us the same amount per month as we were putting toward that credit card debt, and it’ll get paid off sooner. Our goal is to prepare this home for the long haul. While we feel the pull toward bigger and better homes, we really like our home and neighborhood and have no desire to move again, ever. Once the kids get our of elementary school in 5 years, our needs may change, but we really like the idea of our ‘modest’ (by Columbus OH standards anyway) 4 bedroom home. The lower payment that goes with it will also allow us to do more charity giving as time goes by, something that I fell compelled to do, seeing how blessed we are to live here in the USA.
Now that the bulk of that is done, it’s time to do my homework. We head to Chicago on October 7th – 9th for training to be Family Dynamics facilitators. There are three couple from our church going and it looks to be an intense weekend. We will be in class from 8-5 on Friday and Saturday and from 1-7 on Sunday. We are told to expect 3-4 hours of homework each night on top of the class work. Before we head to Chicago, we are expected to read the bulk of the book His Needs, Her Needs and complete a section of the work book. There are a few people in Chicago that it would be neat to see, but it doesn’t sound like we’ll have much time.
So the bottom line is not much will likely be happening around here for a while. In the mean time, go read some of the fine blogs in my blogroll at left. In particular, read Greg’s post on a good kind of cynicism. This left me encouraged that perhaps I’m not the grouchy, curmudgeon, faultfinding naysayer that I fell like so often. Perhaps I’m just an idealist, longing for the church to live up to its promise and potential.
Also, Daniel talks about 7 years of marraige. Though I still plan to try to ignore him Pinakidion, ICOCinfo and ICOCnews continue to track the writings of Mr. McKean (if you care.) Also, you should check out the new and improved Blogs For God, a listing of Christian blogs. Or you could add a word to the Thinklings Blog Free Association.
That’s a lot of words to say why there hasn’t been and won’t be a lot of words around here for a bit.


I received the following from a friend from church and a regular reader of my blog. I thought, I know that of the half dozen regular readers here at, several are from outside Ohio. So, if you are so moved and can send a postcard in the next couple of days, email me and I’ll send you the address.

My son’s first grade class is learning about maps and are collecting postcards. When received they read the postmark and label where it came from. Then they will read it to find out who sent it. They would like the postcard to have a picture or info about where it came from. I think it would soooo cool to have a postcard from a different country. Would you pass this along and see if someone would be willing to send a postcard to the class? He and his class would be very excited to have many different postcards and he would be greatly encouraged. Thank you!!

This woman is one of the most encouraging people I know. She’s a divorced mom of two with every reason to be a grouch, but she’s not. Every August 26th I get a card from her and I wonder what that’s about. It’s only after I open it that I remember that it’s my ‘spiritual birthday’. Not only did she remember & I didn’t, she got me a card! So if I can help her son, who is basically growing up without a dad, feel special, I will do what I can.

The Storm is Passing Over

FYI – Much of this is from the reports of the two men here that went to the Seattle Leadership Conference. I was not there, and most of this has not been published any where that I’ve seen. The list of 9 & the timeline is from ICOCinfo.
Well, it seems tht all the hoopla of the past couple of weeks is blowing over, at least for now. Kip was rebuked by many and several churches have distanced themselves from him. He was removed from his speaking role at last weekend’s International Leadership Conference (ILC). Only time will tell if this will bring repentance and change. I hope and pray so, but like many others I am skeptical. I hope we are all wrong.
The LA ICOC church has abandonded their propsal for unity. Several churches spoke out agianst it, though fewer than reacted to Kip. Ironically Kip was the only one I’ve been made aware of that responded to it with enthusiasm. LA had posted an explination of their reasons behind their ‘call’ prior to the ILC and they evidently explained it further at there. I guess there has been folks urging the LA church to initiate some sort of move to a more cohesive church structure. Much of this was driven by the somewhat disorganized and haphazard third world missions support.
The quick timing and ultimate release of the document seems to have been driven by Kips ‘calling of the remnant’. That seems to be what pushed the LA leadership over the edge to do something. It strikes me how much turmoil was begun over one man’s careless words. The LA leadership apologized for the rush and any pressure that put on anyone.
In the wake of the ICOC shake up of a couple of yeas ago, some third world ICOC churches have found themselves struggling for support. Here in my region, once known as the American Commonwealth Region (ACR) of the Brittish Comonwealth World sector (what a mouthfull, sheesh!), once there was no ACR structure, we divided our missions work between the churches. The churches in Ohio are responsible for the Indonesian churches. Eveidently most of the other regions and world sectors did not have such a plan and the ACR model was the exception. Understandably, the third wird would really like us to get our act together.
So, at the ILC, 32 leaders nominated a commitee of 9 men (Mike Taliaferro, Bruce Williams, Mike Fontenot, John Louis, Steve Staten, Scott Green, Philip Lam, Andy Fleming and Sam Powell) to solicit proposals to move forward until November 1st and then present their proposal in February. There’s no document of agreement, no dos and don’ts, nothing yet but the start of a prcoess. Again, time will tell where this leads, but it’s certainly a far better way to start.
But for me, I’m just glad it’s over for now. I’m glad to put this behind me. It was an unfortunate distraction from the important work of my own relationship with God and leading my wife, family and my church. More unfortunate was how I let myself get distracted by it, particularly Kip. Well, no more. Like my friends Paul and John, I plan on spending no more energy on him. I may keep up on his writings and teachings, but unless it directly effects myself, my family or my church I plan on spending no more blog space on him. I’m reminded of this scripture:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 6:10-13

ICE – In Case Of Emergency

I got this forwarded to me from my wife a while back. I checked it out on Snopes, and it’s legit. They point out some drawbacks to the proposal, but it still sems like a pretty good idea. It’s a rare instance of an email forward that’s worth the energy required to hit the ‘delete’ key.

ICE – In Case of Emergency
A campaign encouraging people to enter an emergency contact number in their mobile phone’s memory under the heading ICE (In Case of Emergency), has rapidly spread throughout the world as a particular consequence of last weekend’s terrorist attacks in London.
Originally established as a nation-wide campaign in the UK, ICE allows paramedics or police to be able to contact a designated relative / next-of-kin in an emergency situation.
The idea is the brainchild of East Anglian Ambulance Service paramedic Bob Brotchie and was launched in May this year. Bob, 41, who has been a paramedic for 13 years, said: I was reflecting on some of the calls I’ve attended at the roadside where I had to look through the mobile phone contacts struggling for information on a shocked or injured person. Almost everyone carries a mobile phone now, and with ICE we’d know immediately who to contact and what number to ring. The person may even know of their medical history.
By adopting the ICE advice, your mobile will help the rescue services quickly contact a friend or relative which could be vital in a life or death situation. It only takes a few seconds to do, and it could easily help save your life. Why not put ICE in your phone now? Simply select your person to contact in case of emergency, enter them under the word ICE and the telephone number of the person you wish to be contacted.

Looking Past the Obvious

I consider myself an artist and a musician, of sorts. I inherited a love for music from my father who has been singing Barbershop Harmony for longer than I’ve been alive. I’ve always liked to draw and ended up in getting an Industrial Design degree in college, initially thinking I would get into Automotive Styling. That didn’t work out, but I’m still in the design field.
For folks who aren’t musical or artistic there’s certain awe for those who have those talents. It’s almost mysterious to them. “I could never draw/sing/paint/play like that!” they say. I disagree, having been through formal training in both. The mechanics of moving a pencil or mixing paint or producing sound or playing an instrument are not out of the reach of most. You could learn to do it. But what makes folks excel in these things is the most understood of all because it has nothing to do with the actual production of the art or music.
In order to be a good artist, the most important skill you need to hone is your vision. In order to be a good musician, you must hone your hearing. Sketching methods, painting techniques, proper fingerings and vocal production techniques are all required and can be fairly easily taught. But if you want to be good, you must go deeper and, in a way, in the opposite direction. To make pleasant music, you must hone your hearing to new levels and directions. To produce good art, you must fine tune your vision.
You see your eyes and ears will lie to you. You look at a picture of a building and know that the walls are vertical and the doors and window ledges are horizontal, so that’s how you interpret them. However, if you look again you might see that the lines on the picture are at all kinds of angles, none of which are truly horizontal or vertical. Note the picture at right the top of the garage door is tilted down and the line of the curb is tilted up. Yet we know that they are parallel and we read them that way. It’s the recognition of that process of converging lines and tricks of the eye that you need to appreciate. The same happens with color. Look at the picture of my black car at right. Your mind reads it as black, yet very little is actually black. There are shades of grey and reflections of blue sky and green leaves and even bright white reflections. All of these things are processed by your mind to tell it that the car is black and the highlights and reflections describe to our mind the shape of the car. A good artist understands all of this and is able to reproduce all these nuances on paper or canvas.
About 10 years ago I played in a Motown Band in Detroit with a bunch of folks from church called West Grand Boulevard. I did background vocals, tambourine and alto, tenor and baritone sax. After playing with them for a while, the band leader pulled me aside and asked me to leave the group. Why? I wasn’t able to hear what I was playing in relation to the rest of the group. We’d be in rehearsal (and recording it) and I was playing along doing fine. I knew the fingerings and was technically playing the right notes. But upon playing the tape back it was painfully clear that I was not playing the right notes. Frankly, I sounded awful, completely out of tune. During the song I hadn’t a clue, I though I was doing fine. It was embarrassing. I had played sax and clarinet for years in High School and college, but somewhere in the intervening years I had lost my ability to hear how in tune I was and adjust to it. I had no ill feelings toward the brother, he was clearly right, I stunk!
As I contemplated this recently, I wondered if there are spiritual parallels to this idea, and I think there is. Bear with me because I haven’t exactly fleshed this out completely myself.
On the surface, Christianity is about church services, tithing, Bible study, prayer and avoiding sin. Many folks look and say “I could never live like that.” But just as the real heart of art lies beyond the techniques of pencil and paint and the real heart of music lies beyond proper fingerings and vocal techniques the real heart of Christianity lies beyond the mundane day to day practices of faith. Beyond those surface things is the real heart of Christianity and only in getting to that heart to the surface things start having meaning. Jesus expressed it this way:

Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:37-40

Everything we area s Christians must spring from our love for God and for each other. That’s just the way it works. We can practice all the other things, hone them and fine tune them to perfection. In fact, it’s pretty easy to do and it’s easy to get caught up in the mechanics of religion and forget the heart.
In my opinion, folks that dabble at the mechanics of music and art aren’t truly artists and musicians. That is not to demean the enjoyment they get from it or to stand in judgment on them or their abilities, it’s just the difference between a hobby and true artistry. The same is true of religion. Some are content with Hobby Christianity, playing with the surface aspects of church services, traditions and sacrements. They feel good about themselves for ‘being good’ or ‘showing up’ or whatever, but it goes no deeper than that. Are these folks really practicing Christianity or are they playing some other game?
I can remember taking drawing classes in my freshman year of college. I thought I was an artist and to some degree I felt that this class was a waste of time. I already knew how to draw. I can remember however, when I went from a hobby to artistry. It was when I started seeing what was really there instead of what mind told me was there. It changed the way I was able to draw, transformed my abilities. In the same way, in recent years awareness of this perspective from Jesus on what’s important has transformed my faith. Evangelism? Yes, as a part of my love for God and his people. Tithing? How about giving generously to more than just my church, but to wherever the need arises.
Listen, I’m not here to stand in judgment on anyone and how they live out their faith. That’s not my job, it’s God’s. We all are capable of falling into a rut where our faith becomes about the schedule, the dos and the don’ts. All I’m saying is that we cannot stay there. We must get to where we are driven by our love for God and each other. When we do that, it will impact every aspect of who we are. It will transform our thinking, our worship, our prayer, our study habits and our actions.

What a Difference a Letter Makes

I was having trouble with my old wireless router. I’ve had it about 2 years and it was dropping my internet connection, even from the PC that was actually plugged into it.
For only about $35 I got a new Dlink router running 802.11g instead of the old Netgear running 802.11b. (My laptop’s internal wireless card is 802.11g)
Wow, pages load fast now. b to g. I really didn’t think I’d notice the difference.

Katrina Timeline

I just listened to NPR’s All Things Considered recount the timeline of what happened leading up to and in the days following Katrina. It’s an amazing series of two reports, about a half an hour total. Audio will be available here and here after about 7:30 tonight Eastern time. It’s well worth a listen if you haven’t heard it already.
One of my perceptions prior to hearing this was that the majority of the blame here for the poor response should go to local officials who failed to understand the seriousness of the situation that lie ahead. They had been warned many time of the dangers of a storm like this to New Orleans, they should have been ready. The report paints a different picture of local, state (and neighboring states) and federal officials working together to be ready to respond.
The biggest problem, at least immediately, seems to have been the extent of the damage to infrastructure. They simply hadn’t planned for the fact that all the groups ready to mobilize would have no means at all to communicate with each other for reports and to give orders. There was simply no way to coordinate the plan and no plan for what to do without coordination.
Someone also pointed out that an evacuation order was given and that about 1 million people fled the city in the days prior to Katrina. Certainly countless lives were saved because of this.
The report paints a very poor picture of our president and FEMA in the days following. They seemed to be completely disconnected with what was happening on the ground. It’s not simply that they were saying they didn’t know what was happening, they were making assertions that were simply false. At one point, after the levy breach, an official in Washington says that New Orleans is not simply filling up “like a bowl” while that was precisely what was happening. Supplies were sent to the wrong places with no one to meet the drivers to unload them. Help offered by other states was not asked for. FEMA contractors ready to send aid waited for 2 days for orders on what to do, and then were sent to the wrong place.
One of the most disturbing things to me was the description of Bush’s first visit. Sitting on the runway at the New Orleans airport in Air Force One he met with the Governor of Louisiana and the mayor of New Orleans. He reportedly told the governor that he could send in troops but they would have to be completely under federal control. The governor reportedly asked for 14 hours to think about it.
The image of these two people jockeying for power while a couple hundred yards away doctors work frantically to save lives in a makeshift hospital in the airport terminal is sad, to say the least. I’m sure there was more to the context than what was reported, but why does it matter who’s in charge; just get the help in there.


Well, the church leaderships are responding to Kip, to the LA proposal or both toghether. So far, only one has signed onto the LA proposal (more on that later.) I must say, overall I am encouraged. What I feared might become a landslide into the past does not seem to be materializing. Some snippets:
In response to Kip:
From Bostson:

As a result of Kip’s divisive behavior, conversations and writings, he was warned last year at the Chicago leadership conference by a group of mature elders and evangelists. Kip committed to changes, but his actions indicate that he is not serious about working respectfully together with others. Most recently, he preached and distributed an article and posted the same on the Portland church Web site. The article in effect calls on churches to either agree to accept Portland’s direction or to realize that Kip and others from Portland will call out members from these churches to join with them. Kip’s actions are divisive and arrogant and must be opposed.

From Seattle:

Unfortunately, in “The Portland Story,” our brother Kip, in seeking to “call out” disciples to an ostensibly higher level of commitment, engaged in several serious and inappropriate kinds of unwholesome criticism and comment: mischaracterizing our church history in a way that disparages many of our most experienced churches and regional church leaderships; making matters of opinion into binding doctrine (that is, passing judgment on disputable matters Romans 14:1); disparaging the very real weaknesses of sister churches and their leaderships in a way that is disrespectful and undermining to their reputations with the people they are struggling to shepherd; and insinuating that many or most of our church leaderships worldwide have melodramatically “trapped” true disciples behind walls of lukewarm-ness.
We appeal in particular to the Portland leadership group to consider and act on these observations carefully and thoroughly. We do believe that the Portland church is a zealous, happy place, but we implore them to make remedy and apologize for behavior affecting disciples beyond Portland’s borders—for disrespecting, judging, for condescension, for one-size-fits-all demeaning words, for ignoring Matthew 18 protocols in specific church situations, and to renounce reckless accusations and opinions foisted as doctrines.
In that event, we would welcome them “to be on the team,” with the Northwest family of churches and leadership fellowships. If not, then we wish them well, pray for them, but are both sad yet content to part company for the present time and move in a very different direction for our own church’s missions and maturity.

From Phoenix:

Obviously, we are all concerned about churches growing and each disciple in every church being a disciple according to the Bible’s definition. But unfortunately, we in most older, larger churches find ourselves trying to help bring order out of the chaos that we believe resulted from faulty building principles in the first place. Taking the biblical premises in 1 Corinthians 3:12-15, the fires of testing showed what sort of materials were used in the foundation of our building, and this biblical principle should make it abundantly clear that the building of the past 20+ years under Kip’s leadership was clearly faulty. It is pretty difficult to hear Kip state or imply that those of us who are trying to pick up the pieces of a devastated movement are somehow unaware or unconcerned about its condition and helping it to recover.
At any rate, the brothers who met with Kip at Chicago last year expressed in no uncertain terms that he would have to cease such disrespectful and divisive statements, or unity with him would be impossible. It was clearly a warning.

We are adding our voices of concern to those of others in calling for Kip’s repentance of his divisive approaches, and for Portland church members who are actively recruiting members from other churches to cease and desist. … We are desirous of seeking a forged type of unity based on relationships of mutual respect and agape love.

In addition, Disciples Today, the closest thing to a ‘official’ ICOC web site, initially printed, then removed, Kip’s Portland Story. They explain why here (subscrition required.) In a quote from the article on ICOCinfo, it was in part because:

The article clearly calls for disrespect, rebellion and division among God’s people — far beyond the boundaries of boldly challenging God’s people to be righteous.

In response to both LA & Kip:
From Orlando (via ICOCnews):

The purpose of this statment is two-fold: 1) To let you know that your elders & staff believe that creating an organization to promote unity through stated standards of behavior or beliefs may, in fact, cause more disunity than it promotes; and, 2) To restate our commitment to be a grace-motivated, purpose-driven church led by a local leadership. Though our feelings are strong, we do no want to be reactionary but want to gather as many facts as possible so as to lead you forward in a powerful but humble way.

From St. Louis:

First, Kip McKean unveiled a plan he has regarding other churches within our fellowship. … While we do appreciate any desire to help struggling churches, and understand that Jesus deserves our total, “sold-out” commitment, this plan seems to promote more competition and division than it does respect and unity. We have all had enough of that in the past. Here in St. Louis, we have no desire to be a part of such an endeavor.

Also the leadership of the Los Angeles Church of Christ has made a unity proposal of its own last week. In it there was a list of unified beliefs, unified practices and an appeal for unified worldwide leadership. … We greatly respect the desire of those brothers to do something that would hopefully draw God’s people together. However, at this point, we do not desire to sign such a proposal, fearing it may limit true unity rather than promote it. We do not feel that a centralized leadership group or a narrow view of “unified practices” should be the foundation or requirement for unity amongst our churches. Rather, it should be simply our common commitment to honor, obey and serve Christ.

From San Diego:

Many of you are aware of the controversy being stirred up over the last few weeks by an article on the Portland, Oregon [website entitled], “The Portland Story” in which Kip McKean unveils his plan to call out of our churches a remnant of what he considers to be committed disciples. Although we are committed to making disciples here in San Diego as well, it saddens us to say that his divisive statements are clearly doing more harm than good, and we are absolutely opposed to having anything to do with it here in the San Diego Church of Christ.

A separate issue that has come up recently which also deserves our attention is a call by the Los Angeles Church of Christ to a new brotherhood structure … While we applaud our brothers’ efforts at unity, we are very reluctant to pursue it by means of structure and accountability since the tendency of human nature is to become more and more legislative and controlling, and we have no intention of ever being a part of something like that again.

The SanDiego article is a little different in that it spends little time going over why they aren’t signing up, instead refering to the Boston, St. Louis, Phoenix and Atlanta articles for more detail. Instead, they take this opportunity to explain where they are going:

Through the trials and difficulties of recent years, God is calling us to mature in our Christ-likeness more than ever before. Among other things, we are learning how to be committed without being legalistic, how to be unified without being coercive, how to be connected without being codependent, how to be generous without being irresponsible, how to be nurturing without being sentimental, how to be honest without being hurtful, how to be forgiving without being superficial, how to be evangelistic and serving without losing a sense of boundary and balance, and how to take care of our own without being overly provincial.

There are also individual responses to the LA proposal from a member of the LA church and an Elder in Atlanta, both against the proposal.
I must say that I am encouraged by these responses. Please go read them in their entirety if you have time, particularly the San Diego article, as there is much more to them then the snippets tell, including acknowledgements of the good Kip has done over the years in individual lives and the role he played in building out fellowship of churches. Many, if not most, in the ICOC owe something of their conversion to Kip and his vision, if only because that vision made the existance of their church possible. There is little debate that the execution of his vision came at a high price for many, however. While I’m happy about the way these churches have responded, I am still sad it had to happen at all. Of course, a few churches denouncing these things doesn’t end it. In fact, in the 2.5 years since the HKL, this is the second such unity proposal from LA and it seems pretty clear that the rebuke of prominent church leaders has not had an effect on Kip …
Not surprisingly, Kip has wholeheartedly endorsed and signed onto the LA proposal, revelaing that he was one of those consulted on it’s contents. In the same article, he comments on the growing voices expressing concern about his recent writings, and The Portland Story in particular. Rather than taking their concerns to heart and looking at his own sins, he seems to take their criticism as evidence God’s plans and Satan’s attacks. It’s a hallmark if the former ICOC that events that are percieved as negative are attributed to God’s discipline or Satan’s attack, while what is good is man’s doing.
In direct reponse to those criticisms, he only says this:

Last week I received a phone call from my friend Mike Taliaferro. He asked several pointed questions concerning my article “The Portland Story.” I realize from that conversation what I wrote could be misunderstood by even my friends. To give Mike a background for my thoughts, I shared with Mike about all the calls from weak, hurting disciples received weekly. We simply want to help these wounded souls as well as to be arm-in-arm with all who desire revival in our churches and to see the world evangelized.

Leaderships of large and prominent churches in our movement condemn his plan and rebuke his sin, and his response is to point the finger back at their ‘misunderstanding’, without a clarification of how it was misunderstood. And much like the LA proposal Q&A, Kip distills his demand for submission to his vision of ‘church health’ to “We simply want to help.” It all depends on what your definistion of ‘help’ is.
Kip is a dreamer and a zealot, potentially good things when not blinded by pride. Imagine what good could be done with that visionary, zealous energy if channeled, not into a bigger, grander ‘movement’, but into empowering individual people to rise above their own humanity, and using their gifts, whatever they may be, to God’s glory.
Though this isn’t likely the end of it all, I still feel as tough I should feel ancouraged, but I do not. Our churches have spent the last week or so caught up in this little tempest, and we will likely have to continue to deal with it for days, maybe weeks to come. It’s an unfortunate distraction to the business of leading our people.

Blog In My Own Eye

Keith Brenton is a COC member who blogs at several places. One is the New Wineskins blog listed at left. Another is his own Blog In My Own Eye (I love the title), which you’ll now find linked at left. I found him a while back either through the New Wineskin’s site or the Church of Christ blogs aggregator, I don’t remember which.
I like his posts because they are deep, yet practical, common sense applications of the gospel.
He’s also been vocal in recent days on the crazy papers an articles going around my ICOC tribe lately. There’s been a long standing division between the COC and the ICOC and I appreciate another voice longing for more reconciliation, not to mention his concern for our fellowship.
He’s linked to my site for a while now and it’s time I returned the favor. Take a minute to go read some of his posts.

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