Warped Christianity

I was introduced to this church in 1990.  They called themselves "The One True Church."  It started from people that left the traditional churches of christ in 1979.  They were at first called the "Crossroads Movement" and then broke away from there and adopted the name "The Boston Movement" and then to "The International Churches of Christ" around the mid-90s.

The church was supposed to be trying to live like the first century Christians but the practices were very warped because they felt that everyone needed to be in everyone's lives in a hiearchial system.  There were leaders who you were supposed to submit to and be accountable to as this was considered equal to submitting to Christ.  People were told how to live every aspect of their lives and that if you didn't, then you were being opposed to God and you would not go to Heaven.  It was an abusive system as it played on your mind and made you think that it was for your own good.  I finally left in 2006 after major uprising went on in the church as to it's un-Christlike practices and many others left.

I am now trying to salvage of alot of myself and my life that I gave up for them. 

Purehope Purehope
41-45, F
11 Responses Apr 6, 2007

Glad you got out! I was a member of the ICOC and then Kip McKean's new version of it, the International Christian Church, for a total of 15 years lost out of my life. Looking back it is hard to figure how I got so wrapped up in it and threw away so much money and so much time. Healing will be ongoing for some time to come. I wrote a bit about my experience with the church over in my stories if you want to check it out.

I'm glad you got out. I know that many people got out of that system and I hope many more will. Like you, I can't believe it now either that I allowed myself to get wrapped up in it. I got out just as Kip was getting ready to start his new version. It was a long time healing for me since 2006 and I can't say I'm completely healed or where I need to be but I am way more healed and further along in my walk with God than I was. Right now, employment is an issue for me. My involvement in the church helped lead to my current unemployment. I don't blame them solely but I could have done so much more development with my life in my early adult years that would have set me up to be in a better position right now.

Thank you! I guess you passed the baton off to me, since when you left was just when I was starting. They do get deep into your mind though, and it takes a long time to recover.

Yeah, I will always be concerned for anyone still in and when people get out. I'm not as tied in anymore because people who you thought were your friends, want nothing more to do with you if you aren't wanting to return. I thought about returning many times in the beginning but I just knew that it wasn't for me anymore. I'm glad that I didn't make an emotional decision to return. It took me a lot of soul searching and cost counting to finally make the decision to leave so that it wouldn't just be solely out of emotion.

Check out this site called DelphiForums.com and check out the group ICC Discussion Forum. It's been around since about 2000, I think. I stumbled onto it around 2005 or 2006 when I was heavily contemplating leaving the church. That forum helped out a ton as well as some other people. Initially, it might seem like a bashing site and there are some people there who remain even to this day very negative about their experience in the ICOC and ICC but there are people who are welcoming and understand what you've been through and you can just share anything. That is one thing I've liked about them because people who don't know about the experience just look at you funny. Most people have a username to remain anonymous and don't want to out you. There are also current members on there.

Thanks! I have a username over there and have been participating in the discussions. It's funny how many people I know there personally, considering the ICOC had a membership of 100,000 and I only knew 1,000 of them tops.

I've run into a few people I know on there too.

3 More Responses

It is so sad when people use the Bible and God to abuse others in His name. I've been in situations where this happened, although not to the extent of this group. I'm glad you're recovering and hope you will find all the peace and joy you want in your life.

Thank you!

Wow me too... I was a member before and left after two years because I couldn't stand the thought that this church is the 'true church'. People who are not members are damned. It's been almost 8 years since I left but the trauma has been stopping me to move on. I have been feeling God doesn't want me to have a relationship with Him because I left this church. I am looking back now and searching on the websites about ex members. It's really a relief to know I am not the only one. Please pray for me to bring back my relationship with God.

I don't know how I missed your story. I am glad that you got away from there and saw the problems right away. I hope you are doing much better in your relationship with God. He most certainly wants a relationship with you and is guiding your steps.

@veryip: The same with me.

i wasnt in your churches<br />
i wasted over 20 years. and having to learn all over<br />
again, to date, to set boundaries etc.<br />
<br />
cults are crap

Hey ichooselife,<br />
<br />
I would like to say the same for you too:<br />
<br />
I am terribly sorry that your life was affected in this way. God loves you and there is a place for you in heaven. I'm glad that you and your son are doing much better.

I joined this church when I was 18. I am 36 now and I struggled for many years to recover from this form of bible abuse. I was told after having become a teen-age mother that God was punishing me for my sin by allowing me to become pregnant out of wedlock. My now 18 year old son is a college student himself, is working a nice job and is nothing but a blessing in my life. <br />
<br />
I am terribly sorry that your life was affected in this way. God loves you and there is a place for you in heaven.

Hey dgo!<br />
<br />
I was 21 when I joined it too. I was there from 1990-2006. I turn 40 in two days and I feel like I wasted a good deal of my adult life too. Since writing this initial story, I am slowly getting involved in a community church near me and I am feeling better about some things. <br />
I'm still not married and I am currently unemployed (that just happened this year).<br />
<br />
I believe I am healing as well, I am learning more about God's grace and also that I did get some good out of my experience with the church.<br />
<br />
There is a site that has a forum where people who are ex-members, current members, family and friends of ex and current members discuss their experiences of the ICOC. The site is called Delphi Forums and you look for the ICOC Discussion Forum. Some people are really helpful in the forum but you will also find some who have "issues." If you want to look at it, go to: http://forums.delphiforums.com/ICCdiscussion

Hi Katia1968,<br />
<br />
While I hate that you are feeling this way after having been a part of the ICOC, seeing that I am not the only one still trying to recover is a HUGE relief. I have been struggling with thinking that my confusion and lack of confidence has been all my fault. Even though intellectually I know that , though I could have left, many of the leaders of that church played on your ideals as a young person who wants to change the world and the great insecurity that comes at that time in your life as well. Just recently, after feeling like a 34 yr old failure, I really had to rewalk that timeline and examine what happened in an effort to get off my own back( AS YOU KNOW, GUILT WAS A MAJOR TACTIC). I realized several things:<br />
1. I turned 21 only 13 years ago<br />
2. I was in the International Churches of Christ for 10.5<br />
Of those 13 years<br />
3. So it's only been 3 yrs since I FINALLY decided to not go back and break that influence on me. <br />
<br />
In those 3 yrs, I have accomplished many things, including starting my own businesses. <br />
<br />
I'm becoming more and more Okay everyday, with my own thoughts, opinions, and actions. It will take time because I feel like I missed out on a decade of my life and maturity. I even got married in that church and now I'm not so sure we are each other's true mates. Sometimes it saddens me but I will be okay.

Thank you! I am working through alot of things in my relationship with God and gaining a better understanding of HIm. I have decided to put that stuff behind me and move forward but not forgetting the lessons that my experience taught me.

I also want to get my story out there about the ICOC &amp; I agree to never forget the lessons it has taught.

Wow. Don't take this the wrong way but I find this interesting. I'm sorry it happened to you...that's not right. I truely hope you get everything you want out of life. And I hope you know that God isn't like what they told you he was. I hope in all that misery that wasn't lost to you. Good luck in life.