Not only was I shocked at the arrogance, the degrading of others, and the chastising (almost vicious) tone of voice used by this man throughout the majority of his speech, but also that evangelism appears to have been reduced (by the leadership of the ICC) to a hotly competitive ambition for out-baptizing each other. And so much so that they scold and belittle those who are not, pressuring them to do so. Is this the method for evangelism we see used by the first century Church, the Church that the ICC claims that it patterns itself after? Why is it “unacceptable” to this man that another believer is, or might be, out-baptizing him? And why is he relating it to others in such a way that suggests they should find it “unacceptable” for another believer to be out-baptizing them? Why all the time spent finding out what someone else is doing so that you can do it “better” than them? And why the boasting about it to others? None of the apostles ever talked like this. There is no warrant for this way of speaking anywhere in Scripture. The apostle Paul even spoke against similar kinds of behavior in his epistle to the Church at Corinth (1Cor 3:5-7, 1Cor 1:26-31), and in his epistle to the Philippians (Php 2:3). Paul also wrote,
The following are yet more quotes taken from speeches (and or) sermons made by those within the leadership of the International Churches of Christ (ICC). These quotes, taken from tapes of ICC leadership conferences, show what the leadership of this movement really believe and teach as Biblical doctrine. These quotes show the manipulation, intimidation, and arrogance which pours forth from the leadership of the ICC. These quotes also show what the leadership deem as acceptable in reference to the methods (some of which can easily be shown to be un-scriptural) used to accomplish their goals. What is not revealed from the reading of these quotes is the tone of voice, the attitude, the heart of the speakers. That can only come from listening to the tapes.
The phrase “...three and five all your life.” is referring to the number of baptisms per month. After hearing this last quote, and the second quote listed in the work Quotes, I thought about the apostle Paul and his time spent in Corinth. After Crispus had been baptized (Acts 18:8) , Paul remained in Corinth for an unknown period of time previous to having a vision in which God spoke to him. (Acts 18:9-10) And during that time many of the Corinthians believed and were baptized. (Acts 18:8) Paul, however, did not baptize any of them. And it appears, from Scripture, that the only person of those Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 1:14 that he actually baptized in Corinth was Crispus, the synogogue ruler. (read page 3 of the article Bring Forth Fruit) After Paul’s vision, he remained in Corinth for an additional year and a half. (Acts 18:11)
The King James Version states that Paul “...continued there for a year and six months...” And during that year and a half, Paul baptized nobody. He wasn’t even doing one a month, much less “three and five”. According to Marty Fuqua, Paul should’ve been hanging his head in “shame” And according to these next two quotes by Kip McKean, Paul was “in sin”, needed to be interrogated to find out why he was doing so poorly, and needed “to be rebuked”.
I wonder if Kip would suggest that Paul was “numb” or in sin of “cowardice”, “unbelief” and “laziness”, and that he needed a good talking to? Where in Scripture do any of the New Testament writers ever talk like this? What does it matter whether or not a person you share the gospel with is a cold call or, as Kip puts it, “a contact through somebody” else. Christianity is not a business where people strive for commissions or points, or to move up in the company by having the greatest number of closings. And I wonder what Kip thinks of Paul not keeping very good track of those who he had baptized, “...beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.” (1 Cor 1:14 -16)
And, as far as this issue of “being fruitful” is concerned, Kip McKean is teaching that being “personally fruitful” means one thing: baptizing people. Kip is teaching that “fruit” are baptized disciples. (read pages 4-5 of Bring Forth Fruit) He is also teaching that if you are not being personally fruitful (continuously baptizing people) you can be “sawed off the vine” (read Quotes and Bring Forth Fruit). So, according to Kip, Paul could’ve been in danger of being “sawed off the vine” and thrown into the fire. I cannot find a single passage of Scripture that states that the activity of bearing fruit and the activity of baptizing people are one in the same. Nor can I find a single passage of Scripture that states that one’s salvation is dependent on how many people one does baptize. If you, the reader, cannot see how ludicrous this is, or see the manipulation being used to get people to “crank” out numbers, which is so apparent in this teaching of Kip McKean’s, you would be well advised to get a concordance and look up every Scripture which contains the word “fruit” and the phrases “produce fruit”, “bear fruit”, and “bring forth fruit”. Or you can read Bring Forth Fruit, a work in which most of the “fruit” Scriptures are presented. Not once does Scripture ever equate being “personally fruitful” with that act of baptizing a person. Not once.
There are many other statements that have been made by the leadership of the ICC that are just as ludicrous, manipulative, intimidating, and just out right un-Christ like. I have listed a few of them here. And I have tried to keep my commenting to a minimum.
I can’t believe this man is actually using David’s words of praise, written in thanks to God, to defend a boastful, arrogant behavior that he calls a “powerful attitude”. David is not boasting about himself. He is writing in amazement at what God has enabled him to do and praising Him for it; “It is God who arms me...”, “...he (God) enables me...”, “He trains my hands...”. David gives all the glory and recognition to God. And in verse 49 he says, “Therefore I will praise you among the nations, O Lord ; I will sing praises to your name.” Not once did David (when he was being faithful) ever say anything like “As long as I’m there, it’s gonna crank.” This statement exalts self, and that is being “cocky”.
No matter how unrighteous or sinful the believers at Corinth became, and they became pretty sinful, Paul never said (even in indignation) anything like “I’m sick of you !!!” Nor did any of the other apostles. And contrary to what Kip McKean may believe and teach about Revelation 3, Jesus was not saying to the believers at the church in Laodicea, “You make me want to throw up!!! He was warning them about the consequence of being in the state of lukewarmness that they were in. He even says, “I wish that you were either one or the other!” (v 15) He also says that He loves them and urges them to be earnest and repent. And then He says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him...” (v 20) Jesus is making an appeal for repentance to those He loves and does not want to lose. A big difference between that and “I’m sick of you!!!” or “You make me want to throw up!!!”
This man is so consumed with cranking out numbers, it’s almost frightening. Where in Scripture did anyone ever talk like this? Is Kip saying that if another church is bigger that the ICC, then the members of the ICC are in “sin” because they “let” it happen? Is he also saying that God is with you only if you are “cranking” out numbers? Did God abandon the apostle Paul because he was having a dry spell on personal baptisms during the time he was in Corinth? Did God abandon Paul when he was imprisoned, not actively making disciples? Did God abandon Paul because everyone in the province of Asia had deserted him? (2Tim 1:15) And according to Kip, what would the fact that those people deserted Paul say about his ministry? After all, Paul was a “lead guy”. Was his ministry “glittering” (cranking)? Was it the “hottest (growing the most) show in town”? Also, where in Scripture does Paul ever command or instruct the church to set goals for cranking out numbers, or chastise a church for failing to meet a numerical goal? Nowhere. Because Paul knew that it is the Lord who brings about the new birth, and adds to the numbers of the church (Acts 2:47, 1Cor 3:6-7). Of course we should evangelize, but we are not responsible for, and cannot be held accountable for the decisions of another. And to focus on or be consumed with numbers can lead to pride and exalting men, and that is sin. King David learned that hard lesson, as we can see in the following verses from 1 Chronicles.
David focused on (became consumed with) numbers. And God punished him, and all of Israel, for it. David even said, “I have sinned greatly by doing this.” (v 8) I challenge anyone to defend (in Scripture) any of these statements made by Kip McKean.
Webster defines “possessive” as: jealous in ownership. Who would a group of believers be jealous of, in reference to owning their part of the city, except another group of believers being possessive (jealous in ownership) about their part of the city? Scripture teaches that jealousy is a deed (or fruit) of the sinful nature. (Gal 5:20) So is selfish ambition (Gal 5:20, Js 3:14-16), which this kind of teaching promotes. Is Kip insinuating that believers in the early church were territorial? Is he teaching that being possessive, jealous in ownership, over a part of a city is a good thing? I don’t know where Kip dreams this stuff up, but the Bible does not teach this. It appears that Kip is just trying to “incite” competition between the members of his movement, and “possessiveness” (jealousy) between smaller “groups” within the membership of each city.
This last quote goes totally contrary to what Scripture states in James 2:1-4 and Romans 12:16. Can you picture Jesus saying any of this? The phrases “not doing it” and “blowin it out” are referring to cranking out numbers. It appears that the ICC gauges how well a person is doing spiritually by how many people they’ve baptized. The Bible, however, does not.
What is the true motivation behind all this competition? Is it pride?, self focused ambition?, making a name for one’s self?, seeking the praise of man? Where did Jesus or any of the apostles ever talk like this? Where did they ever talk about such things as setting or breaking records (especially in reference to conversions or baptisms), competing between each other, trying to out-do and “beat” each other, exalting men over and against one another? According to my Bible, that is sin. As Paul wrote,
Again, according to the Bible, it is sin.
You cannot keep people from going to hell because you “ make ” (force) them to do something. If their heart is not there it won’t matter. God judges the heart of a person. (1Ch 28:9, Jer 17:10, Pv 17:3, Mt 5:28, Lk 16:15, 1Thess 2:4, Rev 2:23) And if you are making sure people tithe, by whatever methods being used, then of course you will have almost 100% giving. But what does it matter if it is being done under compulsion.
Was there a “minimum” of 20-times the normal tithe (for special contribution) placed on, or expected from, the membership of the Sydney congregation by the leadership of the ICC? Can anyone confirm this claim by Kip Mckean that he goes “way beyond” the minimums set for contributions?
And in reference to his view of giving (and living) sacrificially, Kip stated, in this very same speech,
Where does Scripture teach that the leaders of a church have the right or the authority to set “minimums” or demand specified amounts, in reference to contributions, from it’s members? Where does Scripture teach that leaders of a church have the right to be asking anyone to “sell” their house for a special contribution? And where does Paul ever say that he had to ask a congregation to give a 25 times contribution, or that a congregation had to give a 48 times contribution? NOTE: a 48 times contribution means 48 times a congregation’s normal tithe. Many ex-members (some of them ex-leadership), say there was an expectation and pressure to meet whatever amount the leadership had set for each congregation. If a congregation failed to meet the set amount, they were frowned on by the leadership. These are clear violations of the Scriptural command that giving should not be by compulsion. (2Cor 9:7)
The underlying pressure and manipulation placed on the members of the ICC to give beyond their tithe, and sometimes beyond their means is subtle and calculating as is evident in the following quote from a book written by Gordon Ferguson, elder, evangelist and teacher in the Boston Church. Mind you, these are side notes of a chapter on the subject of the prostitute riding the beast in the book of Revelation.
First of all, what does any of this have to do with the prostitute in Revelation?! Secondly, I think it is appalling that someone in leadership would ask these questions of the ordinary members, when many in the leadership (according to the following quotes) are living life-styles of comfort and ease, and making very nice incomes.
Proof of leadership lifestyles (at least the value of their homes and affluent areas in which they live) can be verified as they are a matter of public record. Such information can be easily obtained by visiting the Tax Assessor’s office of the city in which the house is located, or by gaining assistance from information firms with access to public records. The following are current (as of 3/99) examples of ICC leader’s homes found recorded in real estate records or Tax Assessor’s records.
Douglas Arthur owns a second home (9406 Vernon Drive, Great Falls, Va.) purchased in 1993 for $290,000. And these are just a few examples. Further information on the real estate holdings of ICC leadership (and the International Churches of Christ), please read our article entitled Leadership Lifestyles of the ICC.
According to what Kip is saying in his previous two quotes, and according to the information which is easily accessible to anyone who really wants to know the truth, Gordon Ferguson should be putting his questions to the leadership. It appears that material possessions, comfort, and ease of life-style are very important to them (buying houses in excess of $200,000, owning two and three cars, evangelists making $80,000 a year). And according to Kip, some of them are not satisfied with what they do have. It seems that those who are living sacrificially are the ordinary members who live communally (sometimes as many as 10 people in an apartment). Not only is it unethical to preach one thing (sacrificial living) and then do the complete opposite, it goes against the very nature and character of Jesus. I challenge any member to look up Kip McKean’s address at the Tax Assessor’s office in Los Angeles County to find out the value of the home he lives in.
As for salaries paid to those in leadership, and how contribution money is spent, the following quote gives every member the freedom and God given right to request viewing the financial records of the ICC.
2 Cor 8:20-21 is cited as support for this statement.
Unless this statement and view have changed, members should have no difficulty, and should not receive any hindrance from leadership, in attempting to view any financial records at any time. I challenge all members to hold your leadership accountable by regularly viewing the financial records to see how your hard earned money is being spent.
There are just so many quotes that could be listed to show the true character of the leadership of the ICC. I encourage everyone who reads this to get a hold of a copy of the book Toxic Christianity by Rick Bauer (a former leader in the ICC), which contains many, many documented quotes by leadership. This book can be obtained by writing to:
Or by calling them at (301) 390-4496. Just because he is an ex-member does not mean that what he writes is spiritual pornography, as the leadership of the ICC claims. Examine it for yourselves. That is your freedom in Christ.
I include here one last quote which I believe shows either Kip McKean’s Biblical ignorance, or his intentional twisting of Scriptural interpretation to suit his means.
Not once in Matthew 16 (v 13-16) or in the parallel verses of Luke 9 (v 18-20), in either the NIV, KJV or NAS, do “the guys” ever respond as Kip claims and quotes them. “The guys” did not say, “Well, some people say that you remind them of Elijah”. The word “remind” isn’t even there. And no where did “everybody” go, “You remind me a bit of Elijah.” What “the guys” did say in Matthew 16 was, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” (Mt 16:14 niv) There was no particular emphasis put on Elijah over Jeremiah or any of the other prophets. And according to “the guys”, some people thought Jesus was Elijah. And that was because of a misunderstanding of a prophecy which speaks of Elijah as a herald of the Messiah (Mal 4: 5) , and not recognizing John the Baptist as filling that office.(Mt 11:14) It was not that Jesus reminded them of Elijah because He (or Elijah) was a “hardline guy” or a “kick butt guy”. Some people thought He was “John the Baptist”. Even Herod the tetrarch thought that; and it was because of the miraculous powers at work in Him, not because of any particular character traits. (Mt 14:1-2) Some people thought He was “Jeremiah”. Still others thought He was “one of the prophets”. Again, there was no particular emphasis or focus given to Elijah (as Kip tries to imply).
Not only does Kip McKean misquote Scripture, he insinuates things which Scripture clearly does not support (i.e. “kick butt guy”). For example: Elijah did not “take out” the “450 prophets of Baal”. He gave the command, speaking for the LORD, and then it was the people of Israel who slaughtered them. (1 Ki 18:40 niv) And if you read chapter 18 in it’s entirety, you will find that it was God setting fire to the water drenched altar which caused the people to do as Elijah instructed. And as far as Elijah being a “kick butt guy”, we see him a few verses later cowering under a tree in fear of his life. (1 Ki 19:3-5 niv) Kip McKean obviously knows this, so he claims that the people spoken of in Matthew 16 not only state that Jesus reminds them “a bit of Elijah”, but he claims that they are actually referring to the Elijah of chapter 18 and not chapter 19. Again, apart from the fact that he is misquoting Scripture, how does Kip know what incident, or character trait of Elijah, people living 2,000 years ago had in their minds? And what does Kip mean by the phrase “cranking right there”? Does he consider the slaughter of 450 people “cranking”?
One last note on this subject. In both situations (in chapter 18) where God acted (v37-39 and 41-45), Elijah was praying. Again, Elijah was praying. It was God who did the “cranking” (as Kip puts it). And when all was said and done at the end of the chapter , “The power of the LORD came upon Elijah...” causing him to outrun the chariot of Ahab all the way to Jezreel. Elijah was simply the vessel, God did all the work.
Why does Kip McKean, and the leaders of the ICC, put so much emphasis on aggressive, competitive, ambitious, human effort? Why do they applaud, exalt, and boast in men? Why do they call people “yo yo’s”, “wimp”, “sissy”, etc.? Why do they twist Scripture to motivate people to be “kick butt” or “hard line” people? I think Kip is the one with a distorted view of Jesus. I think Kip has a distorted view of a lot of things.
All of these quotes can be verified as accurate and authentic. I challenge any member of the ICC to do as the apostle Paul instructs all believers to do and put this claim of accuracy to the test. (1 Thess 5:21) The tapes exist. These quotes can be verified. And the identity of those speaking can also be verified. I challenge any member of the ICC to prove me a liar and any one of these quotes to be false. I would think that anyone who has a sincere heart to follow God, to serve Him and to worship Him in spirit and in truth (Jn 4:23) , would take up this challenge. I have yet to read anywhere in Scripture where a believer backed down from a challenge (to prove something false), a debate, or an opportunity to expose wrong teaching, wrong doing, or wrong understanding of Scripture. Contrary to what Kip believes and has stated on at least one occasion, the Bible does not teach against debating (publicly discussing doctrine). The Bible does teach that believers are to avoid “foolish controversies”. (Titus 3:9) But Scripture never refers to debating doctrine as “foolish controversies”. In fact, Paul instructs Titus (concerning the selecting of elders),
The Webster’s New American College Dictionary defines the word “refute” as: defeat by argument or proof. To “defeat by argument” is to debate. And this is the example set forth for us in Scripture. Jesus debated the Pharisees and Sadducees (Mk 12:28), Paul debated the Grecian Jews in Jerusalem (Acts 9:29), the men from Judea (Acts 15:1-2) and in the Synagogue at Ephesus (Acts 19:8), and Apollos publicly debated the Jews in Achaia (Acts 18:28). NOTE: The Thompson Chain-Reference Bible (NIV) labels these accounts as “spiritual boldness”. Paul even instructed the believers at Ephesus to “expose” fruitless deeds of darkness. (Eph 5:11) This article is an attempt to do just that.
If you doubt this then prove it. If you believe these quotes to be inaccurate or out right fiction, refute them. If this article is “spiritual pornography”, expose it. Dispel any doubt by examining the evidence. The greatest disservice you can do to God and to yourself is not to examine (or test) everything. If you don’t examine and judge for yourselves, how would you know if the leadership of the ICC ever did become involved in wrongdoing? The truth is, you wouldn’t.
If anyone hinders or prevents a believer from reading or listening to something, thus hindering them from being able to follow Paul’s instructions to “test” (NIV), “examine” (NAS), or “prove” (KJV) everything (1 Thess 5:21), then something is seriously wrong. And for someone in the leadership of a group to threaten people’s salvation or threaten to have them removed from God’s kingdom (something a mortal being has no authority or power to do) for failure to obey commands to shun ex-members (to have absolutely no communication with them), or for failure to obey commands forbidding the reading of or listening to information which might be contrary to the interests of the leadership of that particular group, then that someone is practicing a form of information control used by almost every cult in existence. Yet Kip McKean does just that.
Please, for your own sake, “test everything”. (1Thess 5:21) You have an obligation to God to keep those who lead you accountable, as you would any other believer. Just because they call themselves the leaders of God’s movement, or “God’s anointed”, does not mean that they are above corruption. There is a reason why God has said, Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save.” (Ps 146:3)
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