Talking things out can lead to healing. This has been the standard idea in psychological counseling for the last century, and we hope it can begin to close the rift that exists between the mainline Churches of Christ and the International Churches of Christ this year at Lectureship.
The forums have been drawing loads of interest from the entire Christian community and will probably outgrow their current placement at University Church of Christ.
Growing from an idea seeded by Mark Love, director of ministry events, and Greg Marutzky, an ICOC minister from Dallas who is working toward a doctorate at ACU, the forums have some members of both church divisions wondering if it is good for either.
The ICOC grew out of a movement that came to fruition in Boston in the early ’80s and pushed to evangelize in every major city in the world. Aggressive techniques of pursuing new members and the mentoring structure of the congregations led detractors to label the group a cult.
Complete reconciliation cannot be achieved through forums at ACU. The university, merely a meeting place between members of the two groups, cannot speak for mainline congregations, who remain autonomous.
Reconciliation can only occur one autonomous congregation at a time.
“Faithful Conversations,” the Lectureship forums, can only be a starting point in a series of possible reconciliations between these groups.
Jesus prayed for unity of his believers in John 17:23 before his arrest and crucifixion.
“May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me,” he prayed.
We must strive for unity in Christ’s kingdom, even though we will never see it in our lifetimes.