Meeting planned to battle Christian group

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By Natalie Alcoba

RyeSAC is continuing its fight to keep the Toronto Church of Christ off campus — although the group maintains they are not a threat to students.

RyeSAC, in partnership with four school-sanctioned Christian student groups, as well as student services and CESAR, is sponsoring and information session to educate students about the Toronto Church of Christ.

Tony Costa, an expert of biblical theology, cults, the new age movement and comparative religions, will be the guest speaker.

Although Leatrice Spevack, RyeSAC’s campus groups administrator, will not call the Church of Christ a cult, she says she has always been opposed to their presence on campus.

“I see this group as a threat to students’ well being,” said Spevack.

Her main problem is the group’s recruitment tactics. She says RyeSAC has received numerous complaints over the years from students who claim they were harassed on campus.

Student members of the Church of Christ allegedly contact other students on campus by repeatedly inviting them to Bible study sessions.

For years the Toronto Church of Christ has fought for status as an official student group, but has repeatedly been denied. In 1997, they threatened to sue RyeSAC if they were not allowed to become a student group. RyeSAC continued to resist and no legal action was pursued.

Spevack said she will continue to oppose their fight to become a student group as long as she works at RyeSAC.

But Jacqueline King, lawyer for the Toronto Church of Christ, doubts actual student complaints exist.

“I have no yet seen a formal complaint anywhere, anyhow, in any area. And I’m telling you that as counsel,” said King, who has been a member of the church for 11 years.

“They are not doing any harm by saying ‘hi, would you like to come to our church, we have a bible talk on.’ You can say yes, or you can say no,” said King.

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