Blog Statement

It is time to expose the corruption of Kip McKean’s “International Christian Church” (ICC); “Have nothing to do with the worthless deeds of evil and darkness but instead expose them.” –Ephesians 5:11

This organization is guilty of abusive policies, exploiting members, coercion, and even extortion.

All this in the name of “putting the Kingdom first”? They have forgotten what the Kingdom of God really is.

This is abuse against the people of God.

This can no longer be called a church; it is now a corrupt organization pretending to be a church. For those in the lower levels of leadership who are offended by my words, it is time for you to step back and take a good look at what this organization has become.

Their actions against those who attempt to speak up against this abuse border on psychological terrorism. It is time for the ICC to give an account for what it has done.

Kip McKean baselessly character assassinates anyone who criticizes him as being “bitter” and it is time to put an end to that. This is indignation; an anger aroused against abuse and corruption.

These are articles of indignation against the abuse of God’s people.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

[Article 9] The ICC's Universal Excuse: "We are Evangelizing the World"

This article is available for download in PDF format here
A file with all the articles is available for download here
[The Articles of Indignation: Article 9]
The ICC’s Universal Excuse: “We are Evangelizing the World”
By Daniel Berg           June 26, 2015

The ICC has an obvious tendency to overemphasize scriptures which will be useful for them to use for the purpose of maximizing the money they take from the congregation as well as keeping control of them, and then underemphasizing (or completely ignoring) scriptures that are inconvenient to them.  They pressure their congregation to give more money even though the Bible says not to give under pressure, and then they will even go as far as to extort money from people. They force their members to go tagging in areas where the authorities have warned them multiple times that they need a license to do so; this is a violation of obeying the authorities laid out in Titus 3:1 and 1 Peter 2:13-17.  Many more examples of their misconduct and blatant ignorance of scripture can be found in my other articles. 
When the ICC leaders are confronted on their negligence of these Biblical principles they always whip out the following excuse; “You question us because you don’t understand what we are doing; we are evangelizing the world, and that takes money”.  Now let me explain why this excuse is so astonishingly ridiculous.  The ICC’s excuse for neglecting so many principles in the Bible is “we are evangelizing the world”.  Let me remind you that the Bible was written by the first century Church that actually did evangelize the world 2000 years ago (Colossians 1:23).  So let’s get this straight; do these ICC leaders mean to tell me that their excuse for ignoring teachings written by the first century church, which evangelized the world in the past, is that “we are evangelizing the world”?  If the ICC really wants to evangelize the world, wouldn’t it be best to follow the example of a Church that has already done it?  The teachings of the first century church have been composed into what is now the best-selling book of all time, so the ICC’s decision to sharply deviate from these teachings for the sake of “evangelizing the world” cannot be blamed on a lack of reference material.

This excuse has always been Kip McKean’s last stand, when the abusive policies and manipulative coercion for money are discovered, when misconduct is revealed, when the corruption is exposed, this “we are evangelizing the world” statement becomes Kip’s final excuse to fall back on. I will admit here that by my beliefs in baptism, I see that Kip McKean’s organization is technically “saving people” through having their sins forgiven and this fact is dropped by the members whenever a discussion about the ICC’s corruption arises on social media. There are also some good-hearted men and women in this organization that have saved quite a few marriages. For an overwhelming number of cases, however, these people only stay in the organization for about two to three years, then after suffering enough exploitive abuse and coercion there are many who are so disgusted that they give up on organized Christianity altogether; so for a large group of these people, this state of salvation only becomes temporary (according to these ICC leaders who say that anyone who leaves is going to hell), not to mention some of the psychological trauma that people suffer afterward. There have even been quite a few cases where entire ICC churches have disappeared off the map completely. Now the question remains; is this excuse that “we are saving people” good enough for God in this situation to justify all this collateral damage due to Kip McKean’s methods? To get some clues to this answer let’s look at what Jesus does in Matthew 21, Luke 19, and Mark 11 and John 2 which are all parallel accounts of Jesus overturning the tables of the money changers in the temple:

Passage from Matthew 21
Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,‘ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”

Passage from Luke 19
When Jesus entered the temple courts, he began to drive out those who were selling. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be a house of prayer’; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”

Passage from John 2
When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

Passage from Mark 11
On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves,  and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.  And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”

It is interesting to see ICC leaders try to teach out of this passage. They usually use the scripture in John 2 and then laser focus on how Jesus must have taken a lot of time to make that whip. “Are you as patient and slow to anger as Jesus?” They will say; as if this is the only lesson that needs to be learned from this scripture.

So let’s take a closer look at these four scriptures. In this passage we see that there were sacrifices being sold in the temple such as sheep, other cattle and doves, and these sacrifices were for the forgiveness of sins (Leviticus Ch.1, Leviticus Ch.4). Weren’t these money changers who sold these sacrifices giving the people what was necessary to have their sins forgiven? Couldn’t this be interpreted as a “good” deed? So then why was Jesus so angry as to call these people a “den of robbers” and then overturning their tables while swinging a whip?
            These people in the temple were selling these sacrifices at exorbitant prices and taking advantage of the people’s need to have their sins forgiven and thus they were taking advantage of the situation to exploit the people. Jesus’s reaction right here demonstrates how much God hates it when His people are exploited for financial gain.
            Is this not what Kip McKean is doing? The ICC “brings people to God”, and then their devotion to God is exploited. When people bring up the string of abuses involved in the policies he enforces he always falls back on declaring that the world is in a “state of emergency” and needs to be saved, as though this justifies his actions to “save” people (and then saying that anyone who leaves his organization is no longer saved); much like we see dictatorial regimes that will declare a “state of emergency” that is prolonged indefinitely for the life of the regime and which can then be used to override human rights.

Also notice how Jesus starts his “assault” on the temple in the section where the doves were being sold. Doves are the sacrifices given by those who are the most poor.
In my article titled The ICC’s Extortion and Coercion for Money, I mentioned the ICC leader’s argument “we are just asking for a bit of money” when they demand unemployed members to give them money despite the fact that they are not receiving any income; this does not justify them disfellowshipping members from their church who do not give this money. The amount of money is not the problem; it’s the principle of exploiting members for whatever amount of profit. “Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.” –2 Corinthians 2:17   
By demanding money from these members isn’t the ICC leadership trying to put a market on salvation? This is wrong and disgraceful.

Many people mention that if it weren’t for Kip coming to L.A., then they would not have been reached out to and converted to Christianity. In our hearts, we all want to believe that our salvation came to us through some noble cause; to look back at our life story through rose-colored lenses. Being "saved" by a corrupt organization is such a paradox that it seems too unbelievable to us. Yes, some marriages were saved (and others threatened), some people turned their lives around and quit drug use (while other abused people were hurt both emotionally and psychologically while others went back into drug use), yes some people were saved (while others have given up on Christianity entirely after leaving or being kicked out of the church for being “divisive”). Sometimes the truth as we see it is not always as black and white as we want it to be; sometimes you have to make a tough call like Jesus had to do in Luke 20:20-26. Just like the Pharisees tried to trap Jesus, Kip tries to trap people in his organization with twisted reasoning and emotional manipulation.
            Being saved by someone brings with it a sense of gratitude and Kip has decided to exploit this gratitude. Many people from outside the ICC look at us and call us "brainwashed" because they wonder how in the world we follow a man that is already well known for being abusive toward his past congregation and who is using the same abusive methods on us.  Our sense of gratitude toward Kip causes us to refuse to see it; we want to believe in him and his proclaimed cause. We make excuses in our minds whenever we notice that something is wrong.
            This is why writing these articles also comes with such a great sadness, because I am essentially trying to ask the ICC congregation to call out the corruption of a man to whom many feel gratitude toward. There was no other way, for Kip ridiculed and put out of the church anyone who criticized him. Therefore I wrote these articles in order to speak out against the abuse that is being done to God’s children.

Teachers and leaders are to be held more accountable in the eyes of God as we see in James 3:1; “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.”

            Does the ICC leadership think that they can abuse God’s people and walk through the gates of heaven? If anyone in the upper leadership had ever considered themselves to be Kip’s friend, they would have confronted him on these things a long time ago out of concern for his salvation. They shouldn't be talking about "saving people" when they don't even seem interested in saving their own leader (or even themselves for that matter). Or do they even believe in God anymore?

Some of these men originally joined the church because they wanted to love people, but now they merely give out the fake love which Kip McKean prescribes them to give. In a way some of these leaders have also become victims, doomed to manipulate the very people that they wanted to love because without their paycheck from Kip they can’t provide enough for their own families, but that does not excuse their decision to go along with the corruption.

So God used the efforts of a now corrupt man to save me, amen, God works in mysterious ways and I just have to accept that as part of my reality, but it is time to move on now to better things, to expose corruption (Ephesians 5:11), to overcome hope deferred and instead focus on building a Kingdom that is actually built on God’s principles. Many people do not know where to go after leaving the ICC and therefore are afraid to leave because they do not know what to do with their lives afterward.  They have put so much trust in Kip McKean and these ICC leaders that many have forgotten how to trust in God. By instituting the exact same abusive and exploitive policies as before Kip has shown that he has no intention to repent and has even customized the leadership infrastructure so that he has more control of the upper leadership. Even with a faint hope of repentance, it cannot be denied that Kip has faked repentance in the past. It seems as though the best option is to leave; as the saying goes “no one puts new wine into old wineskins” (Mark 2:21-22).

 For a person that finally decides to leave this corrupt organization with the trust that God has something better in store for them; it is at this point that a person’s faith in God is truly tested. No longer will they have strong social reassurance about what convictions they should believe in and what qualities are constitutional of a "spiritual" person. The only thing that a person can rely on outside of a religious organization is the Bible itself and the reasoning of their own minds, and this scares the people who have come to rely on social support to justify what to believe. I am just one man and I cannot do this alone, but I believe in my heart that God has plans for me as part of His “church universal” (ICC terminology for all the believers on earth in God’s Kingdom, but if you attempt to leave the ICC they still say you are going to hell) and I believe God will steer me in the right direction to someday find a righteous fellowship of brotherhood and I will continue to hold onto this new hope.

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