Monday, August 29, 2005

Boston Rebukes Kip (will he get marked?)

Boston elders address the actions of Kip McKean.

August 28, 2005

The elders are saddened but compelled to address a disturbing development from the recent conference held by the Portland, Oregon, Church of Christ. We the leadership of the Boston Church have grave concerns about our brother Kip McKean's actions. While we love the man and are thankful for good he has done, we cannot be silent in the face of recent events.

As a result of Kip's divisive behavior, conversations and writings, he was warned last year at the Chicago leadership conference by a group of mature elders and evangelists. Kip committed to changes, but his actions indicate that he is not serious about working respectfully together with others. Most recently, he preached and distributed an article and posted the same on the Portland church Web site. The article in effect calls on churches to either agree to accept Portland's direction or to realize that Kip and others from Portland will call out members from these churches to join with them. Kip's actions are divisive and arrogant and must be opposed.

In light of 3 John 9-10 and Kip's conversations privately and publicly, it is clear to us that he is guilty of the sins and character of Diotrephes. He seeks to be first, he maliciously gossips about brothers and churches, and is calling for a plan that intrinsically sets up refusal to welcome brothers who do not agree with his church building approach. He opposes those who would welcome those "he" cannot call true disciples.

In light of Titus 3: 9-11 he is clearly divisive, not avoiding foolish controversy but deliberately stirring it up. With verse 11 in mind, we are adding our voice to that of others recommending his removal from the leadership conference in Seattle in September.

We are further calling on Kip to repent of this destructive attitude and behavior and to understand that the continuation of such will mean that we will have no fellowship with him. In light of the conversation last fall in Chicago, we would consider this a second warning. We would urge you to pray for Kip and for his repentance. We urge you to have nothing to do with efforts that claim to advance God's work, but are in fact, dividing God's people. We are committed to Jesus' message and the Great Commission. We commend you to love one another (John 13:34-35), seek to be united (Phil 2:1-2) and diligently and effectively take the good news to the world around us. In doing these things you will do that which will most effectively silence divisive talk

There are many, who hold to the truth of the Scriptures and are committed to Jesus as Lord and the mission of winning as many as possible. It is a time to be uniting not dividing. We do not intend to be a church centered on a reaction to Kip or anyone else, but a church focused on building up the Body of Christ and making more disciples. We are aiming for the healthy growth of this church and are continuing to work to that end. We sought input from leaders in other churches such as Seattle and Los Angeles this year and look forward to such continued exchanges. However we will not tolerate authoritarian leadership methods or intimidation to motivate our progress but rather will listen to the Spirit, the Word of God and godly men or women who demonstrate a Christ-like spirit and mutual respect as we mature together as disciples of Christ

The elders of the Boston Church

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