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San Diego Church of Christ


Church Review
Scriptural View: 2/5 (They do hold to scripture, but legalistically so.)
Beliefs: 1/5
Community: 1/5 (If you leave, you are told you lose your salvation.)

Website Review
Site Usabilility: 3/5
Site Design: 2/5
Site Content: 3/5

Summary: The site has a plain but simple design. It has a focus on the community, with events and a calendar of activities. They have sermons online in mp3 format. They also have studies and articles online. One of my biggest concerns, is that they do not have what they believe displayed!!!! I know I could listen to 10’s of sermons to try to figure this out, but I don’t really care to do this. Also, they are also known as the ‘International Church of Christ’. This is a cult has had problems on a number of college campus. (read article) I have a friend who did come to Christ through the Church of Christ, but quickly left when he saw the manipulation that occured. They said things like if you don’t stay at their church you are not a Christian, or that you can only be baptized by their Church.

A great site that investigates cults summarizes the following: “The International Church of Christ (ICC), does not deny any of the essential doctrines of Christianity. Aside from its requirements on baptism as a necessary part of salvation, it is Orthodox. Therefore, I do not categorize the ICC as a non-Christian cult. Rather, I see the ICC as a Christian Church with some serious problems; namely, legalistic and excessive control over its members.” For more on this click here.

I recommend that people avoid this group.

3 Responses to “San Diego Church of Christ”

  1. Chris Lee Says:

    As a Master of Divinity graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, former member of the Boston Church of Christ, and REVEAL Director, I have to admit that there are a lot of good and bad things to the ICC. The “litmus test” for me is whether I should refer people to it, and I have to say there are FAR MORE HEALTHY CHURCHES outside this church and unless there’s no other reasonable reason, then go, but it is far better to find a better church.

    This church is serious about its convictions and its zeal; this is certainly very compelling. They take studying the Bible for themselves and with others rather seriously. As far as being ‘orthodox’, they would, if shown the Nicene Creed, accept it on all points. However, there are many bad points, such as a high controlling and manipulative church, bad eisegesis (bad biblical interpretation). For their beliefs, you can look at; however, they would claim they have ‘no creed but the Bible’ (which merely means that the Bible is being used to substantiate whatever they claim = bad interpretation). They deviate in practice in many ways (especially legalistically) from Fundamentalism, and are much more similar to that. While they may “verbally” affirm salvation through grace, their practices belie their true beliefs that salvation is ‘Maintained’ through works and good deeds (translation: church-related activities and church sanction events).

  2. Keith Saare Says:

    In disagreement with the reviewer’s assessment, I would rate the San Diego Church of Christ (SDCC) as a definite cult, as do most major cult-watch groups and news reports. I would also differ slightly with Chris Lee above in that the only circumstance in which I would refer somebody to attend its services would be if the person was doing a research project about cults for a college class or seminary course. Only then would it be beneficial to see what a model of perverted Christianity is all about; knowing what is wrong could be almost as beneficial as knowing what is right if such knowledge is used wisely.

    Ten years ago I had the opportunity to attend the SDCC for several services and take part in its systematic studies leading to conversion. I personally sat under Steve Shoff’s (a top echelon leader) sermons and “Bible” studies (I put “Bible” in quotation marks since it really was a “Kip’s-false-doctrine” study). I can speak from experience in saying that this cult’s doctrine–a different gospel–is the exact heresy leading to the damnation which Paul warned about in Galatians 1:6-9.

    Simply put, anybody who believes that water baptism is part of the gospel can not be a true Christian. The apostle Paul clearly distinguished baptism from the gospel in 1 Corinthians 1:14-17. He did not include it in his list of points when defining the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:1-5. This group distorts the plain meaning of Scripture in verses like Acts 2:38 and Mark 16:16 to teach that baptism is part of the gospel. They contradict the clear statements of Jesus in John 5:24 to teach salvation by works. This is where the poison of their teaching sets in and kills the soul, and it is why I do not believe one can be a true Christian and a member of the SDCC.

  3. Francesca Sebastian Says:

    I was a member of the church for better than 12 years, heavily involved in leadership both in the US and abroad. I’m no longer involved because of matters of conscience about correct interpretation. However, in response to Keith Saare, ICOC is not the only group who expect water baptism. In making a correct interpretation of the original Greek, baptism has always meant water immersion. I am a native Greek speaker. The Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches both believe that baptism with some water or full water immersion is necessary. The way you condemn groups who expect water immersion is no different than a judgemental ICOC member. Only God has the corner on the market for perfection and perfect interpretation. Let’s leave the judging up to Him, live according to our consciences and not judge others. Wasn’t it Jesus that said, “Who is he that condemns…not even Christ condemns. Best wishes to you on your spiritual journey,

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