IS IBOC UNDER A LOCAL CHURCH?
IS THIS A FORM OF UNIVERSALISM?
IS THIS A FORM OF UNIVERSALISM?
Sometimes you just can't win. Some Christians are going to find the devil in a new brand of paint. And so it is with something as "new" as an online Bible college. It seems that there are those whose scrutiny has become almost without logic or reason. One such being the notion that somehow this online college is a form of Universalism. This is quite silly, however, in an effort to answer questions regarding our connection to the church, let me address this issue.
Just because it is on the Internet does not make it anti-local church anymore than local churches who put their sermons on YouTube make that church a "cyber space universalist." The fact that others see it over the Internet does not indict that local church as theologically conjoined with universalists. IBOC is not a church. IBOC is an academic helper for the local church. The final authority is the local church led by their pastor.
The internet makes it possible for Christians to accomplish things for the Lord in ways we could not before. Rather than looking for what is wrong with that, we ought to rejoice at the possibilities.
The internet allows us to perpetuate the ministry and influence of some who otherwise we would lose. Our goal is to raise the influence of men who may be limited in their ability to travel yet who have much to offer this generation.
Yet, there are those who are trying to find some anti-church conspiracy in this endeavor. Here are some of the ways we support the local church. By the way, we do not ask for nor intend to accept support from churches. Our ministry is not para-church any more than Revival Fires, Sword of the Lord, Reformers Unanimous, Mount Salem Camp Grounds, Agape Homes, The Torch, etc.
1. We are officially a ministry of Victory Baptist Temple in Elyria, Ohio, which is where the president of our college, Dr. Jeffrey Smale pastors.
2. Every administrator, advisory board member and faculty member is an active member of a local New Testament Church and most are current or former pastors.
3. Every IBOC student is a member of a local church and must be recommended by their local church pastor.
4. That same local pastor oversees their student's spiritual life according to his church's standards and convictions.
5. IBOC will supervise their academic work, but the local church pastor will guide their additional training.
6. Each pastor will hold their own commencement service for their students at their church giving a diploma provided by IBOC which will be signed by Dr. Smale and the graduates pastor.
7. The IBOC Degree will be given on their church platform to their church member.
8. The pastor will have the final say as to whether their church member is spiritually qualified to graduate.
9. IBOC will have the final say as to their church member being academically qualified to graduate.
We are not seeking to control any ministry of the local churches to which we do not belong. We are seeking to provide a means of obtaining an online degree for those who seek one. It is easy to look for the flaw of such an endeavor and miss out on the fact that we are paying much more homage to the local church pastor than most campus colleges. I trust this clears up any confusion regarding our church association.