Recently, I’ve had an “a-ha!” moment with regards to a Christian group on campus. There’s this para-church ministry on my campus that I became aware of entitled “E.P.I.C.” -(Everyday People Imitating Christ) at the annual student org. fair back in August. I noticed that majority of the orgs. were actually Christian campus ministries, but EPIC stuck out to me. They are associated with “The Asheville Church” (I attend UNC Asheville for those who don’t know) and they held these weekly “bible studies” called “Bible Talk”
My freshman year of college, one of my closest friends was telling me how he was getting involved with a Chrisitan campus ministry at his university (JMU) ; he framed it as him wanting to get more serious in his walk with God. But as time went on, there came a point in the semester where he was about to get baptized in the Atlantic Ocean , and it was at this point ( and the 3 day church conference that followed), that he realized he might have been had – by the Blue Ridge ICC. He later admitted that the group was very exclusive in terms of their rules of who members ought to hang out with. They tend to target people they perceive to be weak-minded or in need of friends. They’re normally very friendly towards these people and start sharing more and more of their time with them ( how’s that for relational evangelism !?) – soon it’s movies together, house parties together, church together, and then theology together. They’re taught that other Christian ministries aren’t serious about their faith, and only they, the ICC, are serious about their walk with Christ. Furthermore, they should limit their time if not outright boycott, hanging out with anyone who’s not a “brother” or “sister” in ICC, for they could lead them astray. Also, dating anyone who’s not a bro or sis is just sleeping with the enemy, as one would guess. This was back in 2010 – my first semester in college…
Fast-forwarding to present, I recently asked him about it today and he reminded me of it all, and mentioned that they are associated with the “International Church of Christ” and that their church plants are all named after the city that they’re in – (i.e. Ashevile Church…Charlotte church, etc.) – EPIC FOR SURE!
Besides their belief that water baptism is salvific, there are many notions this group holds that leads me to think “cult”..and come to find out….
It’s on the FBI federal watch list as a cult!!