May 28, 2014

Crosswalk.com: 10 Signs Of An Abusive Church

Would you believe that Kip McKean's International Christian Churches meet ALL TEN qualifications for an abusive church?

Crosswalk: 10 Signs of an Abusive Church >>

Every single sign applies to the ICC. However, I'd like to slightly reword "Unrealistic Promises" to make the concept more specific to the "Kipdom."

In the ICC, only leaders are guaranteed material comfort, with the guarantees increasing with the level of leadership. All "rank-and-file" members are expected to give, and give, and give, until it hurts. And then give some more.

Rank-and-file members are, however, promised that being "faithful to God" (which in practice is synonymous with doing whatever the ICC leadership requests or demands) means that God will bless them in unrealistic, magical ways. For example, "faithful disciples" are basically guaranteed a great spouse, "awesome" marriage, and abundant spiritual blessings from God. ICC leadership constantly preaches the message of how people's lives were terrible before finding "God" (again, saying "God" but meaning "the ICC") and how much their sad, empty, terrible lives were transformed because as a consequence of joining the church and doing whatever ICC leaders asked of them.

What do you think? Is the ICC an abusive church?

Someone on Facebook (a current ICC member) suggested that some of the abusive characteristics mentioned in the above-linked article are acceptable, since they are based on passages from the Bible. My response to that is 1. that's great that you are able to recognize that your church is exhibiting a majority of the abusive characteristics listed and 2. please remember that you can pretty much support anything you want with passages from the Bible, including murder and slavery, so that argument doesn't hold much water with me.

Thoughts?

11 comments:

  1. Thank you for writing so candidly about your experience in the ICC. Much if not all that you share are significant issues that have been a cause of concern for parents, family members, and friends of those ensnared by Kip McKean's doctrine. This website along with a few others has been a great source of information regarding the inner-workings of the church and the type of people who lead it.

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    1. Thanks for commenting! Please share any links of other sites that you have also found helpful. Thanks again.

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  2. I I was a member of ICC till 2012 and I agree 100% they represent all the points in the article and that's why I left....

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    1. Thanks for your comment and congratulations that you were able to get out. And don't give up on your friends who are still donating their time and money to this man and his followers!

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  3. 10 Things Concerned Parents Should Know About Kip McKean and the ICC:

    10. Two-thirds of the ICC is made up of college students between the ages of 18 and 22. Most drop out of college because they are unable to manage both school and the rigorous church schedule that each member is required to adhere to: church on Sunday, midweek service on Wednesday, bible talk on Friday, discipiling (D-times) meetings, evangelism or "sharing" several hours a day, bible studies with new recruits, "serving" paid staff leaders by house cleaning, baby sitting, running errands for them, etc. Failure to meet these demands are met with brow beating sessions where students are made to feel that they have a bad heart and are selfish by not putting the church first and as a result risk going to hell.

    9. All three of Kip McKean's kids went to private school, graduated from Ivy-League colleges, and went to graduate school. Kip's children left the organization and want nothing to do with the church. Side Note: during her college years, Kip's eldest child suffered from bouts of depression and thoughts of suicide due to the scrutiny and intense pressure to preform which are hallmarks of Kip's leadership and church culture. Since many within the ICC (including top leaders), as well as ex-members have shared that they too have experienced these emotions as a result of their affiliation with the church, Kip felt compelled to write an article on the topic of Acedia, The Forgotten Sin to deflect his responsibility in cultivating an environment where depression is common because members never feel like they are able to do enough or measure up to Kip's standard.

    8. The organization's internal college, ICCM, is not accredited. Several students have dropped out of legitimate universities to enroll in the ICCM.

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  4. 7. Many of the ICC's top leadership (World Sector Leaders) is comprised of men who have been married multiple times, fathered children outside of marriage, and spent time in jail for fraud. A one time WSL committed adultery twice with prostitutes. When questioned about the lack of credibility and experience of the men and women he has appointed to oversee churches and world sectors , Kip's response is "The church just doesn't have the talent..."

    6. Members are required to "tag" (stand on street corners or busy intersections begging for money) to raise funds for Special Missions and countless retreats, conferences, workshops, etc. hosted by the church. It's not unusual for college students to use their financial aid money to make their Special Missions requirement. The pressure to fund these projects are often so great that the son of a high ranking shepherding couple was arrested for stealing watches from a department store to make his special missions contribution.

    5. The church often preaches that if one is not regularly "fruitful" (personally meeting, studying the bible, and baptizing someone) they will be cut off from Jesus and thrown into hell. Yet, no one can remember the last time Kip's wife, Elena McKean, was personally fruitful nor any of her direct disciples. Apparently, John 15:5-8 doesn't apply to them.

    4. The church systematically infantilizes its members by requiring that members get permission (ie. "advice") from church leaders about everything in their lives-where to live, where to work, where to go to school, who to date, whom to marry, whether or not they can go on vacation. Students in particular are discouraged from going home during school break to visit family.

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  5. 3. Excluding college students, the remainder of the church is made up of the "working poor". Individuals and families that can barely make ends meet yet are guilted into sacrificing all they have to the church with the promise that God will take care of them. Yet, the only people God seems to be "taking care of" is those in upper leadership.

    2. The church does not baptize foreigners unless they agree to return to their country of origin with the sole purpose to expand the ICC.

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  6. 1. Kip believes that he is a "modern day apostle", "God's right hand man", and a "high priest." He often uses Deuteronomy 17:12-13 to instill fear and compliance in those that are "arrogant" enough to question his decisions and actions:

    "The person who acts arrogantly, refusing to listen either to the priest who stands there serving the Lord your God or to the judge, MUST DIE. You must purge the evil from Israel. 13 Then all the people will hear about it, be afraid, and no longer behave arrogantly."

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    1. Anonymous, thank you for your excellent comments. I have, in fact, taken the liberty to group them together and turn them into their own post, which you can view here: http://www.exicc.org/2014/10/concerned-parents-kip-mckean-icc.html

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  7. I am outraged that the ICC leadership is calling OUR CHILDREN to quit school in order to expand Kip's religious franchise. In the church's 10-19-14 propaganda news letter, Joe Willis the leader of ICC Sydney, writes "I personally want to call all disciples from China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan to contact me in the next month at wotifgod@yahoo.com.au...to give up their university plans or go against their parents' wishes."

    So our kids are EXPECTED to sacrifice their education to advance Kip's church yet NOT ONE of his kids were expected to give up their education. All three of his kids attended the most expensive preparatory school in Los Angeles and then onto Harvard and Stanford. Guess who funded this stellar education?!? The church! A church comprised mostly of single moms, poor families, and struggling college students. SHAME ON KIP MCKEAN!!! It's time that the ICC upper leadership start walking the walk they expect the rest of our children to walk.

    World Sector Leaders, Matt and Helen Sullivan's, eldest daughter should be "called" to stop her studies at USC in order to advance Kip's kingdom. She is fluent in Spanish. Send her back to Chile, Mexico, or any other Latin American country to help further McKean's corporation.

    I am pleading with parents, family members, and friends to LOVE your/our children enough to do what ever it takes to get them out of the ICC. For 30+ years, Kip has exploited (and also gotten rich) the vulnerability of pure hearted, idealistic, and sacrificial young men and women.

    The ICC AGGRESSIVELY targets and goes after college students. Why? Because they are the most vulnerable and trusting. In fact, Kip laid out a mandate at this year's ICC Leadership Conference to refocus the church's recruiting efforts on college students. If your son or daughter is involved in the ICC or is in the process of being recruited by them, please contact the college and report your concern. Many of the universities have banned Kip's group from their campuses due to the havoc they have caused in the lives of students.

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    1. Thanks for your comment! I got wrapped up in Kip's "movement" as a freshman in college, trusting of everyone and fresh out of a small town. 15 years later I finally wised up and got out, but not before wasting 15 years of the prime of my life, shortchanging my education, alienating all of my old friends, and blowing through $40,000 of my own money (including several thousand in school loans that the church was just so happy to receive.) I sure wish there was someone there who could have helped me avoid all of that. I'm still trying to pick up the pieces in my new, post-cult life.

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