Friday, January 23, 2004

Cult Leader Kip is At It Again
And so are bad reporters, apparently. This guy makes it look like the mainline church takes him seriously -- at this mainline COC mag.

If you thought the Boston mag article was a joke, check this Christianity Chronicle article out. Also in full text below.

Kip, you are NOT a spokesperson for the ICOC! Don't you know people are snickering at your stupid letters, and articles, and other self-promotion?! Get over yourself!

And where the hell is 60 minutes?



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CURRENTS

Interview with Kip McKean — extended

January 22, 2004

What do you feel are the greatest strengths of the International Churches of Christ? What can mainstream churches of Christ learn from the ICOC?

I very much appreciate The Christian Chronicle for directly asking me these questions. The leaders in the ICOC have prayed for guidance from God’s Word from our earliest days. Some of the strengths God has forged in the ICOC are:

1) The call for each person who is baptized to have a heartfelt relationship with God. We believe each person who becomes a Christian (baptized disciple) is called to have the same level of commitment as Jesus, the apostles and the early church.

2) We believe every disciple should have the same mission as Jesus – to seek and save the lost.

3) We also have a collective dream to evangelize the world in our lifetime. In a relatively short time God’s Spirit has established many churches in mainland China, Europe, Central and South America, the former Soviet Union, Africa, Australia and the Middle East including Iraq and Afghanistan as well as some of the largest churches in the US. Approximately half of our churches and membership are outside the United States.

4) During the ‘80’s in Boston, we preached what we believed was the Bible pattern of one church in each city. Because of that teaching, our churches reflect the demographics of their city. Therefore, we do not have “black churches” or “white churches” or “Hispanic churches,” but simply congregations with races united in Christ. To effectively lead these churches, the leadership is also usually diverse in its ethnic makeup.

5) Through the missionaries’ making disciples of nationals, God has blessed us with strong national leadership in every church on every continent. In spite of this diversity, we have remained unified in our purpose and not been split into different groups.

6) Also, we encouraged women to serve in the full-time ministry and in non-full-time ministry in leading and discipling other women as seen in Titus 2:3-5.

7) Small groups (Bible Talks, family groups, sectors) are the key for multiplying disciples, meeting each disciple’s need and giving each one a place to use his or her gifts.

8) Our worship services have been very dynamic and inspiring. We believe and practice both a capella and instrumental music in our worship.

These are some of the strengths God has given us.

What is your core message in "From Babylon to Zion," your latest manuscript to the ICOC? (www.portland.ucd.net)

I have always been moved by God’s refining his beloved but sinful people through the captivity in Babylon. After those difficult days, God returned them triumphantly to Zion (Jerusalem) when their focus on God and his Word was restored. (Jeremiah 29:11) There were several reasons why I wrote this letter. I felt the need to express my personal apology for any and all hurts I had caused to all of the members around the world. (Please read pages 3-7 in From Babylon to Zion.) I shared in my letter the difficult time that my family had been through and our struggle not to become bitter or angry toward those who had hurt us. Now I see that God refines all of us through difficult times. It is sad that in the history of so many Christian movements, when leaders go through difficult times, the church attacks them to the point that many leave the ministry and some even leave God. I still have a deep conviction that I was called into the ministry to serve our Lord. I wanted to assure everyone that even though no single individual leads all the churches, I feel similar to Paul’s love as a “father through the gospel” (1 Corinthians 4:15). So in my letter I wanted to reaffirm my heartfelt concern for all the churches.

Specifically in my letter I pleaded for people not to respond to those who were calling for autonomy from each other, but to continue the unity God has forged among us and to continue the calling for world evangelism to honor the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. (See pages 40-42)

I also tried to offer suggestions as to the changes that we need to make to mature the church and to more closely follow God’s Word. (See pages 32-33)

Why did you begin your sabbatical in October of 2001 and resign in November of 2002, as leader of the ICOC? Your statement posted on the Web site seemed to emphasize sin and personal failure, but The Boston Globe (May 17, 2003) reported that it was mostly because your daughter decided to leave the church. What is the accurate view?

In an effort to protect my family, I originally did not mention the issue of one of my children’s leaving the church while attending college. However, this was the precipitating event for several of the most influential leaders in the ICOC to no longer back me as leader of our churches. They believed if I was to lead all the churches, I had to live up to the requirement of being an elder that includes all of your children being faithful, though I never claimed to be one. I was encouraged at this time that my closest brothers discipled me, urging me to look inward to see what hurt my child’s faith. God revealed to me that the character weaknesses and sin that hurt my family were also the ones that hurt my ministry. To be accurate, though, many of the ICOC leaders no longer backed my leadership, not just because my child left the faith, but because they (many with roots in mainline church theology) opposed the central leadership that I represented for all the churches. Though it hurt beyond words to see some of those whom I had trained and sent out on the mission field turn their back on me at a very dark hour, I see now that this was God’s way to break me of my sin and to refocus me on my relationship with him -- not my accomplishments, my sin or the adoration of the people, but to accept that God’s grace is totally sufficient for my life. I felt the best thing was not to blame my child for my resignation, but to take full responsibility myself for my shortcomings.

Presently, in the Portland Church, I have tried to surround myself with brothers in best friend relationships who help me in my own walk with God, keeping my heart pure in my devotion to God.

What was your original vision for the ICOC? What did you seek to accomplish that the mainstream church of Christ did not have, in your view? Do you think that vision has been fulfilled?

I took my vision from God’s dream that all men be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:4) It was clear and simple:
1) That the members of every church would be composed of only disciples. In serving as a young minister with mainline churches in Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Texas and Tennessee, I saw so many churches in which a large percentage of the members were not truly committed to Christ. For example, only half of the people who attended on Sunday morning would go to midweek services. Also, most mainline preachers and members felt evangelism was a “gift” instead of Jesus’ mission.

2) I believe that in Boston, God gave us a plan that would evangelize the entire world with the gospel using Jesus’ principle of one disciple making another disciple. Donald McGavran, the foremost denominational authority on church growth at the time, noted that we had a unique plan in our age. In 1981 with the Boston Church’s membership being composed of only 500 disciples, we committed to God (Proverbs 16:3) to plant churches in all the major cities of the world – New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Johannesburg, Moscow, Hong Kong, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Cairo, etc. By the power of God, this is what happened. We called these churches “pillar churches.” From these pillar churches, likewise composed of only disciples, we sent mission teams led by trained evangelists to plant churches in the capital cities of the surrounding nations. By 2001, God had reached 171 nations – more nations than McDonalds is in. From those capital churches, mission teams would be sent out to smaller cities. From these churches teams would be sent to the towns and villages so that everyone could know the gospel in our lifetime.

3) We believed in only one church in one city as in the New Testament. I also envisioned that these churches would be unified throughout the world. They would not be autonomous (independent of each other), but would be tied together by relationships – in particular relationships of evangelists throughout the world similar to the original apostles, Paul, Timothy, Titus, Barnabas, Epaphroditus, etc.

I continue to be an evangelist and member of the ICOC even though all central leadership has been dismantled. There continue to be enough evangelists who believe in evangelizing their regions throughout the world to direct the evangelism of the world if they are willing.

The ICOC has followed a controversial model of one-on-one discipling. Define that model. Do you consider it an essential practice for maturing Christians?

I believe it is biblical for us to imitate the relationship Jesus had with the apostles and the relationships they had with one another. For example, the apostles had a student/teacher or younger brother/older brother relationship with Jesus. They also had adult/adult relationships with each other. Jesus paired the apostles for the mission. (Matthew 10) Both types of relationships are essential to lead people to maturity. Another text that demonstrates the student/teacher relationship is in Titus 2 where the older women are to train the younger women.

Another biblical path to maturity comes from studying the “one another” passages in the New Testament such as “love one another,” “encourage one another,” “serving one another,” “pray for one another,” and “confess your sins to one another” and so on. When those are applied in a godly way, we mature the body and God is glorified. Ultimately, to become mature, the responsibility comes down to our willingness to have deep convictions from the Word that we put into practice. (Hebrews 5:11-6:3) Each Christian must take full responsibility to have their own deep convictions from the Word that they put into practice.

As ICOC churches and mainstream churches in the U.S. and abroad begin to dialogue, how do you view the possibilities for these two groups to be united? Are you actively encouraging it? Why or why not?

I believe that true unity must come through the Spirit, the water and the blood. In time, true disciples in both churches will feel akin to each other and those who have compromised their faith to the point of lukewarmness will also feel akin to each other. Since the ICOC no longer has a central leadership, I believe that some churches, like other historical religious movements, will become complacent and lukewarm and there will be divisions. In my travels around the world, I have been able to see a wide variety of churches. Though I believe there are many disciples in the mainline churches and in other parts of the Restoration Movement (such as the Christian Churches), many of these congregations do not enjoy a vibrant worship, deep fellowship or life-changing evangelistic outreach. They are not growing. However, the mainline congregations that are striving to practice the Bible principles to produce these characteristics, will be united in spirit with our churches who remain true to the Scriptures. In the past I have spoken at mainline churches and will certainly consider such offers in the future.

We must remember that God’s ultimate goal for us is not to be the mainline church and its many divisions or to be the ICOC with our failings. The goal is to be Jesus’ church. We must remember the point of unity is to honor God, not to please leaders or members. When we have biblical unity, we have brotherhood and world evangelism.

We understand that a great many changes have taken place within the ICOC following your sabbatical and resignation. Describe the nature of these changes.

The number of people who have left the church has caused us to examine ourselves according to the Scriptures. It is like the parable of the sower. Some chose to no longer follow Jesus. Some left because their roots were shallow and their faith withered under trial. Others became distracted with the cares of the world and sought a more comfortable Christianity. What touched my heart the most was that some left because they were not treated well. Every person’s loss of faith is troubling, but I feel very responsible for those who were not loved as they should have been. In my letter I apologized to everyone whom I have wronged directly or indirectly and I beg their forgiveness.

God’s disciplining hand has been on the ICOC (Hebrews 12:5-11). Collectively and individually, we are learning many lessons in humility, grace, depth and maturity as God is changing us to be more of whom he wants us to be. Gideon doubted the presence of God because he did not see the miracles. God did awesome things with him once he believed. For me, I pray this will be a great time of learning from brothers and sisters in the ICOC or from the mainline. I personally am open to dialogue with any brother or sister who wants to advance God’s church and who loves him with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.

Many of the changes that are taking place in our fellowship, and that need to take place, I have outlined on page 32 – 33 of my letter to the churches. These include: the paramount importance of the cross; practicing the greatest commands of loving God and each other; stressing grace; the power of the Holy Spirit in our daily life; the value of each and every member of Christ’s body; biblical conflict resolution; our purpose is to glorify God and our mission is to evangelize the world; our primary motive is to please God; preaching the Word for the young and the mature; and servant leadership. Although God has worked through us and the principle of discipling to raise up many powerful evangelists, we have not raised up enough elders, deacons and teachers who are needed to shepherd the flock to maturity. I strongly believe God is preparing us for a harvest of righteousness and peace if we will listen to him through his Word and the Spirit.

Thank you very much for this opportunity to share my thoughts with the members of the mainline churches of Christ. These comments only represent my thoughts and opinions. I pray we can continue to help each other seek God. My greatest desire is that we will all “be brought to complete unity” by making the cross paramount in our lives, loving God, loving one another and loving the lost. I pray we will live to see the day that every person in the world has heard the gospel. Please pray for the Portland International Church of Christ to boldly preach the Word.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Kenneth said...

kip,

you are an absolute False Prophet.

3Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for (that day will not come) until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

10:15 PM  
Blogger Kenneth said...

BUT WOE TO YOU KIP

But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
5"Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them 'Rabbi.'

8"But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ. 11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

13"Woe to you,KIP teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.

15"Woe to you, KIP teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.

16"Woe to you, KIP blind guides! You say, 'If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.' 17You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18You also say, 'If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.' 19You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. 22And he who swears by heaven swears by God's throne and by the one who sits on it.

23"Woe to you, KIP teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

25"Woe to you, KIP teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

27"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. 28In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

29"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30And you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' 31So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers!

33"You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? 34Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation.

10:18 PM  

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