The ICC and ICOC – A Concise Distinction

I was recently asked by two non-US evangelists in the International Churches of Christ about my answer to the question: “What are the main differences between the ICC and the ICOC?” No two people would answer this question the exact same way because we each have personal experiences. This paper was shaped by my: 1) 35 years as a Christian, 26 years of fulltime ministry, which includes the roles of elder, evangelists and teacher, 2) graduate education in New Testament, and in conflict management, and 3) my vocation as an organizational health and risk management consultant. The ICOC has not published new positions concerning Kip McKean and his breakoff that led to the ICC since late 2005, when about eighty ministers affirmed a disciplinary position against Kip. Since that time the leading indicators of where the ICOC stands with the ICC has come from the writings of respected individuals such as Mike Taliaferro and Justin Renton. Like those papers, I am not inclined to write a paper that is merely us-versus-them, but to provide clarification. One of the main ICC evangelists, Luis J. Martinez, aka “LuJack” posted the areas “the ICOC and the ICC agree on”: 1) that Jesus Christ is the Son of God; 2) that Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the third day; 3) that Jesus Christ called us to be his disciples; 4) that Jesus Christ called us to be born again, born of water and the Spirit;
5) that Jesus Christ called us to "go and make disciples of ALL nations, baptizing them--for the forgiveness of sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit--in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit";
6) that we must teach ALL disciples to OBEY EVERYTHING Jesus commanded us;
7) that the Bible contains the very Words of God;
8) that the church is the body of Christ and the kingdom of God;
9) that the acts of the sinful nature are obvious;
10) that we must confess our sins to each other and pray for each so that we may be healed;
11) that we must seek FIRST God's kingdom and his righteousness, and he will provide us everything we need for life and godliness;
12) that we must strive to evangelize the whole wide world while God gives us life to do so; LuJack’s list of agreements are much appreciated. As readers will probably concur, the distinctions are not about core orthodox theology at the time of conversion to Christ, they fall under the category of philosophy and paradigms. These differences have a significant influence on the health of an individual and congregation, even after a short time. I considered Kip McKean’s paper on the five differences between the ICC and the ICOC. I don’t think his explanations with the distinctions will satisfy a informed member of the ICOC. The following five statements more accurately contrast the two movements, in my mind, but not necessarily in any particular order.