by the leadership of the ICC
Copyright © 1997 New Covenant Publications. Used by Cultwatch with permission.
New Covenant Publications can be contacted at their e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org or write to New Covenant Publications, PO Box 167, Radio City Station, NY NY 10101-0167.
(Note: Bold type and underlining have been used by the author for emphasis)
“We’re talking raw ambition, here! I’m talking about the attitude of ambition! Some of you, you’ve lost your competitiveness! You say, ‘Well, I don’t want to be competitive with anybody.’ HOGWASH!!! I spent my whole life as a child of God being competitive! As a student, I wanted to have the most fruitful Bible Talk. I didn’t want anybody’s Bible Talk to out-baptize mine! NO MAN!! NO WOMAN!! I remember one time one of the sisters was out-baptizing me. I said this is not acceptable. And we sat down and I said, ‘I want to know everything you’re doing.’ And she told me everything she was doing. And I did it better and out-baptized her.” (Marty Fuqua, The Cutting Edge, Boston Leadership Conference, Aug 92.)
“Some of you guys, you go, [mockingly] ‘Well I don’t, I don’t, I don’t want, I don’t want to be that way.’ [Laughter from some of those listening] Man you’re a wimp. You’re a sissy. You’re the kind of guy in wrestling that I prayed for. [more laughter] Oh, please, please, please give me one of them, baby! Hah, ho, baby! I’m just gonna tear his head off, man!!! This is gonna be glorious!!! He’s not even gonna fight very long! You gotta get some ambition! You get that world report you got in your hand and you look at every church on the dad-blame thing that’s close to yours! And you find out who they are and just out-baptize them!” (Marty Fuqua, ibid.)
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 anywherein 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,
“If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each should carry his own load.”(Gal 6:3-5)
“Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Gal 5:26)
“We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” (2Cor 10:12)
“For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.” (2Cor 10:18)
The following are yet more quotes taken from speeches (and or) sermons made by those within the leadership of the International Churches of Christ (I.C.C.). These quotes, taken from tapes of I.C.C. 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 I.C.C. 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.
“Some of you have so little competitive ambition. You’re willing to go three and five all your life. You’re willing to be middle of the road, middle of the pack. Some of you young guys out there in those…those young church plantings in America, you ought to…you ought to hang your head in SHAME! YOU OUGHT TO BE CRANKING LIKE WILD MEN OUT THERE!!! YOU OUGHT TO BE SO GLAD YOU GOT YOUR SHOT, YOU GOT YOUR CHURCH!!! IT’S YOUR TIME!!!And you’re draggin’ your little sorry butt around with five baptisms a month.” (Marty Fuqua, The Cutting Edge, Boston Leadership Conference, Aug 92)
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. 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”.
“And I put before you, we’ve got a lot of people that are numb. You say, ‘Why do you say that?’ Cause I think we’ve got a lot of people that aren’t personally fruitful here. Let’s just ask the question. How many of you, we’ll make it since last September first, have met somebody person–, not a contact through somebody, but have met somebody, studied with them, and baptized them? Let’s raise our hand. Now I want you to look around…I want you to look around. Now all the people who haven’t done it, you raise your hands. I want you to look and you ask me if we have a radical movement. No, keep your hands up! If you know those people, I want you talking to them after this session. And I want you finding out what’s going on.” (Kip McKean, Malachi: God’s Radical Demand for Remaining Radical, Manila World Leadership Conference, Aug 94.)
“Have you been personally fruitful, and let me spell it out for you. Someone you met, someone youstudied with, and someone you personally baptized. Who’s been personally fruitful since last year? Raise your hand. Well, it’s better, but I want you to look around. These people with their hands raised are not to be commended, they’ve simply done their duty. But you that don’t, you need to be rebuked! You’re in sin! Sin of cowardice, sin of unbelief, and the sin of laziness. And you need to talk to someone right after this message.” (Kip McKean, Preach The Word, Johannesburg World Leadership Conference, Aug 95)
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. He is also teaching that if you are not being personally fruitful (continuously baptizing people) you can be “sawed off the vine” (read Quotes). 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 which 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 which 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”. Not once does Scripture ever equate being “personally fruitful” with baptizing people.
There are many other statements which have been made by the leadership of the I.C.C. which 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.
“Listen, you had better have the attitude about your work, your zone, your church; listen, you can take the whole bunch of them. Because as long as I’m there, it’s gonna crank. And I’ll just raise up the next bunch to be better than the ones you took. Get just a powerful attitude. You say, ‘Bro, you sound arrogant and cocky.’ I mean, David, [Ps 18:34] ‘I can.. my arms can bend a bow of bronze.’ [mocking] ‘Well, David, I think you’re arrogant and cocky.’ Look at this, verse 35, ‘You gave me your shield of victory, your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great.’ [again, mocking] ‘Oh, he says he’s great, ahhhhhh.’‘You broaden the path beneath me so that my ankles will not turn.’ Look down at verse 42. ‘I chase my enemies. I beat them as fine as dust borne on the wind; I poured them out like mud in the streets.’ Listen, David is flat dead cocky.” (Marty Fuqua, The Cutting Edge, Boston Leadership Conference, Aug 92)
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 which 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”.
“Some of you don’t get angry enough when people in your ministry sin. You allow yourself, and you allow everybody else to be mediocre…You pat them on the back and try to encourage them into commitments. The cutting edge attitude is an attitude sometimes of ANGER!!! It’s indignation, ‘I’ve had it with this!!! I’m sick of myself, and I’m sick of you!!!‘” (Marty Fuqua, ibid)
“Some of your churches are so pathetic they make Jesus nauseous. Now I, I was a little…I backed off a little bit in my sermon right there. I didn’t want to come on too strong yesterday. It’s the kind of guy I am. It’s what Revelation 3 says. It says you’re neither hot or cold, you’re lukewarm, and you make me want to throw up!!! (Kip McKean, The Super Church, Boston Leadership Conference, Aug 92.)
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!!!”
“My goal has always been to have the biggest church wherever I’ve been” (Kip McKean, ibid.)
“I think that the kind of radical goals that we need to lay before our churches are number one: To be thelargest church in the city. I think it’s a sin to let any denominational church be bigger than us.” (Kip McKean,Preach the Word, Johannesburg World Leadership Conference, Aug 95.)
“We need to make sure on the foreign field that we are the biggest church in that nation.” (Kip McKean, ibid.)
“You say, ‘Well bro, then your goal is to be the biggest in L.A.’. You betcha.” (Kip McKean, The Super Church, Boston Leadership Conference, Aug 92.)
“The Super Church was a part of the New Testament mind set; the large numbers. Even the small towns of Listra, Iconium and Derbe were there. In many of these small towns you got churches of five hundred and a thousand. And I don’t want the cotton-pickin’ Baptists to have the biggest church in town.” (Kip McKean,ibid.)
“I do believe if you are the lead evangelist you better have the hottest show in town.” (Kip McKean, ibid.)
“The lead guy better have a ministry that glitters. Say, ‘Well let’s look again right here. Well which onegrew the most percentage wise?’ Well let’s look again. 75%….say ‘Why is that?’ Cause I was in there.”(Kip McKean, ibid.)
“You know, a lot of times we feel that if things aren’t cranking, ‘Why is God not with me? I don’t see him.’ He’s with you. As long as you’re making disciples , He’s with you. That’s what the good book says.” (Kip McKean, Malachi: God’s Radical Demand for Remaining Radical, Manila World Leadership Conference, 1994.)
“Earlier this spring the L.A. church was just not cranking. And it’s not cranking, I get ticked off. A lot of you guys don’t get mad enough.” (Kip McKean, ibid.)
“And before you leave this seminar you get it on straight, what is good, what are goals. So many of you churches have set goals and you’ve failed so many times to make it, you’ve injured the faith of your people. You either repent of that, set goals you can make, blow out, and build their faith.” (Kip McKean, ibid.)
“God put you there in Boston, He put you there in New York, He put you there in Charlotte, He put you there in L.A., NOW CRANK!!!“ (Kip McKean, ibid)
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 than the I.C.C., then the members of the I.C.C. 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.
“Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel. So David said to Joab and the commanders of the troops, ‘Go and count the Israelites from Beersheba to Dan. Then report back to me so that I may know how many there are.’ But Joab replied, ‘May the Lord multiply his troops a hundred times over. My lord the king, are they not all my lord’s subjects? Why does my lord want to do this? Why should he bring guilt on Israel?’ The king’s word, however, overruled Joab; so Joab left and went throughout Israel and then came back to Jerusalem. Joab reported the number of the fighting men to David: In all Israel there were one million one hundred thousand men who could handle a sword, including four hundred and seventy thousand in Judah. But Joab did not include Levi and Benjamin in the numbering, because the king’s command was repulsive to him. This command was also evil in the sight of God; so he (God)punished Israel.”.(1Ch 21:1-7)
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.
“But it (the Bible) also teaches that there were groups inside the one church that had a possessiveness of their part of the city.” (Kip McKean, ibid.)
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 Bibledoes 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.
“See, I only want the best to come to my church. Someone’s not doing it, I go, ‘Well bro, it’s good to have you here today. [Laughter.] [A joking response from someone in the crowd: ‘He can do the prayer.’] Maybe they can do the prayer. [Laughter.] We select a lot of people to be up front in our church services. Bob and Pat have been there, all the World Sector Leaders. We use a lot of people up front. And they know you only get used up front if you’re flat blowin it out spiritually.” (Kip McKean, ibid.)
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 I.C.C. gauges how well a person is doing spiritually by how many people they’ve baptized. The Bible, however, does not.
“I like to set records for the kingdom so they can be broken. We set the record in Moscow for church attendance. Then Frank goes and does this doo-dah thing in Cambodia. [Laughter.] [‘Go, Frank.’] [Cheers.] I go, ‘Okay, bro, I appreciate that.’ We tried to beat it in Kiev. We didn’t. We only got 503. But you know, it gave me something to shoot at. [Laughter.] Andy and I going, ‘I’d sure like to take that one off the record books.'” (Kip McKean, ibid.)
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 outdo and “beat” each other, exalting men over and against one another? According to my Bible, that is sin. As Paul wrote,
“What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe–as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” (1Cor 3: 5-7)
“If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” (Gal 6:3)
“Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, ‘Do not go beyond what is written.’ Then you will not take pride in one man over against another.” (1Cor 4: 6)
“So then, no more boasting about men!” (1Cor 3: 21)
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement.” (Rom 12:3)
Again, according to the Bible, it is sin.
“Secondly, we give the contribution in the discipleship group. You say, ‘Well, won’t everybody see what’s happening?’ Mmmhmm. Mmmhmm! And we make sure they give their tithe. You say, ‘Why do you do that?’ Because the Bible says in Malachi 3, if you don’t tithe you’re robbing God. And we don’t want anybody to go to hell cause they didn’t, they robbed God. You say, ‘That’s awful hard-line.’ You bet your booties it’s hard-line. Someone doesn’t give, we ask why. We know who didn’t give by the end of the discipleship group. Questions are asked. We have almost a hundred percent giving in our church. Someone doesn’t give, they’ve got some attitudes.” (Kip McKean, ibid)
You cannot keep someone 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.
“The first year we got there we wanted to be self supporting. January, with 154 disciples, I had to go to the church and say, ‘Let’s give a 25 times contribution’. We wanted to start a Latin ministry that May. We had to give a 3 times contribution. That fall we had to give a 20 times contribution to Manila. The people that were there January one of 1990, that year in special contributions alone had to give a FORTY-EIGHTTIMES CONTRIBUTION!!! (Kip McKean, ibid.)
“I want to challenge you, challenge you with the example of LA, challenge you with the example of Russia, challenge you with the example of my life and say, ‘listen, I’m not gonna give this minimum 20-times. I’m going to go way beyond the minimum…” (Kip McKean, Glory, Australia Evangelism Conference, May 5th, 1996.)
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?
“When the first special contribution came, Al, wanting God to know his heart,. and with the need for world missions, sold his house. Just like in the Bible, Acts 2, Acts 4. But today we’re not selling houses, we’re buying them. Now if you’re buying a house, how you going to ask someone to sell theirs for a special missions contribution?” (Kip McKean, Malachi: God’s Radical Demand for Remaining Radical, Manila World Leadership Conference, 1994.)
And in reference to his view of giving (and living) sacrificially, Kip stated, in this very same speech,
“Our problem is, we don’t want to demand it of ourselves and so we don’t want to demand it of the people.” (Kip McKean, ibid.)
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 I.C.C. 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.
“How important are material possessions to you? How important is comfort and ease of life-style? Do you have the same attitude toward these things as God does? How willing would you be to sacrifice your present life-style if doing so would further the spread of the kingdom? How sensitive are you to appeals for increased contributions in the church? Do you need help with your heart in these matters? Will you ask for it?” (Gordon Ferguson, Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory, Discipleship Publications International, 1996, p 140.)
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.
“Back in the early days of Boston, young interns under my charge, they’d always be borrowing cars. Right, Frank? Now we own two and sometimes three cars.” (Kip McKean, Malachi: God’s Radical Demand for Remaining Radical, Manila World Leadership Conference, 1994)
“Back in the early days of the ministry, I used to pay our young interns $700 a month. And Bob and I thought we were being very generous. That’s about $8,000 a year….Now we’ve got evangelists making $80,000 and you are not grateful or happy for what you have. You don’t have enough!” (Kip McKean, ibid.)
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 checking real-estate publications which have a recent sales section. One needs only the address, the date of purchase, and the current issue at the time the house was sold. The following are three examples of this, obtained from the Boston area.
Jimmy Rogers (Geographic Sector Leader)
616 Hartford Street
Purchased: 7/29/94 / price: $225,000
Gordon Ferguson (Congregational Elder and teacher)
27 Hitching Post Drive
Purchased: 4/30/96 / price: $235,000
Kevin McDaniel (Super Region Leader)
6 Harbell Street
Purchased: 4/29/96 / price: $242,000
The figures of these three examples can be verified by visiting http://realestate.boston.com/recentsales/ . According to what Kip is saying in the 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.
“The financial books and how we spend our money are open to any member at any time.” (Kip McKean,Revolution Through Restoration, Upside Down Magazine, April 92, p. 13, col. 1, para. 3)
2 Cor 8:20-21 is cited as support for this statement.
“We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift (speaking of the offering / v.19). For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men.”(2 Cor 8:20-21)
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 I.C.C. 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 I.C.C.), which contains many, many documented quotes by leadership. This book can be obtained by writing to:
Freedom House Ministries
15205 Jennings Lane
Bowie, Maryland 20772 USA
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 I.C.C. 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.
“You know our view of Jesus is so distorted. When Jesus was asking the guys, ‘Who do the people say that I am?’ Matthew 16. The guys said, ‘Well, some people say that you remind them of Elijah. Some people even say you’re Elijah come back from the dead.’ Now was Elijah a hard line guy or not? I mean, he took out those 450 prophets of Baal and then some, amen. Talk about a kick butt guy. And everybody goes, ‘You remind me a bit of Elijah.’ And not chapter 19 where he was hiding. It was chapter 18 where he was cranking right there.” (Kip McKean,Malachi: ibid.)
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 prophecywhich 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 remindedthem 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 (ie. “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 wasGod 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 I.C.C., 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 I.C.C. 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 beverified. And the identity of those speaking can also be verified. I challenge any member of the I.C.C. to prove me a liar and any one of these quotes falsehood. 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 teachagainst 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 contraversies”. In fact, Paul instructs Titus (concerning the selecting of elders),
“He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” (Titus 1:9)
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 that these quotes are inaccurate or out right fiction, refute them. If this is 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 I.C.C. ever did become involved in wrong doing? 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.
“Lastly, you need to obey the marking. You are to have no contact with Ed Powers or his staff, or with anybody that has decided to be at that other church in opposition to this church. If you disobey the marking then we’ll be forced to warn you…I’m very serious. It is an issue of salvation.” (Kip McKean, Indianapolis Speech, March 17, 1994.)
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, inmortal men, who cannot save.” (Ps 146:3)
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