The truth about what happened in Indianapolis

The truth about what happened in Indianapolis

The following is a copy of a letter sent to Kip McKean, and other leaders of the International Churches of Christ, in June 1994.

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Letter to Kip McKean

  Roger D Hendricks 5533 Petersburg Parkway Indianapolis, Indiana 46254    Kip McKean 3530 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 1750 Los Angeles, CA 90010                                                   June 1, 1994   Dear Kip McKean,  I am a member of the staff of the Circle City Church (the former Indianapolis Church of Christ).  I want to begin by saying that I had great hope that the world would be evangelised through this movement. I had great respect for you as a leader, trust in your integrity as a man of God and loyalty to the movement for years.  Kip, I was amazed and disillusioned with your actions and words in Indianapolis during the month of March.  I was shocked that you did not call Ed or any of the members of staff.  I have listened to your tape on March 17, 1994 in Indianapolis.  Again, I was shocked by the lies that you told the people in Indianapolis.  Kip, it doesn't matter how many people believe what you tell them.  I know. You know.  And most importantly, God knows that you lied to thousands of people.  I probably wouldn't have ever believed that you would tell such outrageous lies, if I had not been present during the phone conversation that Ed Powers had with Marty Fuqua on February 27th and the meeting with Marty Fuqua and Bob Gempel on March 4th.  I cannot deny what I have heard with my own ears and seen with my own eyes.  I plead with you for the sake of your own soul: Repent of the sin of lying!  I would gladly talk to you to discuss the matter.  I am concerned deeply about your spiritual welfare and the spiritual welfare of the entire membership of the International Churches of Christ.  God condemns lying and will not be able to bless any group that has unrepentant sin in the leadership.  I am determined not to be a bitter person.  I am determined to better serve God and to help as many as possible be saved by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I will continue to pray for you and others in the International Churches of Christ.                                                In Christian Love,                                                Roger D Hendricks                                               (317) 291-4248 

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The truth about what happened in Indianapolis

   To: Kip McKean, World Sector Leaders and Members       of the International Churches of Christ  From: The staff of the Circle City Church (the       former Indianapolis Church of Christ)    Re: The truth about what happened in Indianapolis. 

We are compelled to refute the false information that you reported and to confront you on the lies that you told our brothers and sisters in Christ. We plead with you to repent of these lies and correct them publicly. We have included a copy of the ‘1993 Growth Analysis of the West US/Canada/Scandinavia/C.I.S for International Churches of Christ’ published by the Los Angeles Church. All quotations are italicized and can be confirmed from available tapes. We are deeply concerned about the people in Indianapolis who are being deceived. The below facts are just the beginning of the lies that have been told to them. We know the truth and want to tell it!

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1. The growth of the Indianapolis Church in 1993.

Kip, you stated on March 17th in Indianapolis the following:

    “It was stated to you that the Indianapolis church was the fastest growing church in the Midwest. I read to you the stats that Ed Powers himself had turned in. Essentially, they started with 950 in attendance of January 1993, never went over 1000 average all of 1993 and ended at 950 attendance in 1993 in December. That’s the fastest growing church, I think not… You not only didn’t have a nongrowing church. You had a church that was going negative in growth… Was the Indianapolis Church the fastest growing church in the Midwest? No, you were deceived. The idea you were flattered, saying we’re growing, we’re awesome, we’re so liberal here, cotton pickin’, we’re not bogged down with this legalism and all this stuff they’re telling us to do. Smooth talk and flattery. Not only were you not the fastest growing, you weren’t even growing period.”

The truth is as follows:
The Indianapolis church was the fastest growing church in the Midwest in 1993. We encourage you to examine closely the ‘1993 Growth Analysis of the West US/Canada/Scandinavia/C.I.S for the International Churches of Christ’. You will not that the Indianapolis Church did have the largest net growth in membership of any other church in the Midwest family. You will also not that the January average was 914 and the November average was 964 (an increase of 50 in attendance from January to November). Kip, you know that you do not use the December average for attendance, because of holidays. Kip, you also failed to mention that in January 1994 (a better measurement of attendance growth from the previous January) we had a four week average attendance of 1053, which is an increase of 139 in average attendance from one year to the next. Kip, why did you lie to the people of Indianapolis?

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2. The growth of the other churches in the International Churches of Christ

Kip, you stated on March 17th in Indianapolis the following:

    “I appreciate so much the men that serve as elders and the awesome wives of the elders that we have. Certainly, the Brumley’s have done an outstanding job in Chicago… And then of course the tremendous lead evangelist and his wife, that you have there, the Drabot’s. They’re doing an awesome job. Amen. …I appreciate the great Chicago church. Amen.”

The truth is as follows:
The Chicago Church of Christ did not grow in 1993. In fact, the Chicago Church was going negative in growth. You will note that the January average was 3391 and the November average was 3286 (a decrease of 105 in attendance from January to November). It is also interesting to know that approximately 100 members moved from Milwaukee to Chicago in 1993. In fact, the vast majority of the Churches in the West Sector are not showing significant growth. If you remove the C.I.S Family, Los Angeles and Indianapolis Churches, the statistics are very revealing. The remaining 40 Churches grew in attendance from January to November by a total of 157, which averages an increase of only 4 per Church in attendance for the entire year of 1993!

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3. Ed Powers willingness to talk with leaders of the International Churches of Christ.

Kip, you stated on March 17th in Indianapolis the following:

    “Secondly, the issue of why was Ed and his staff marked? Why didn’t you go through Matthew 18 verses 15-17. Where you have the four steps: one on one, two or three on one, the church on one and finally the disfellowshipment. You can only disfellowship somebody that is in fellowship. If they don’t want to meet with you, they are not in fellowship anymore… Matthew 18 was not an issue. When he will not meet with us. When he will not allow us into the assembly. He has removed this church from the fellowship of God’s movement.”

The truth is as follows:
Ed Powers stated on February 27th in a witnessed phone conversation to Marty Fuqua that he would talk to Marty that week on all concerns he had raised about the movement. Ed Powers and Roger Hendricks did talk to Marty Fuqua and Bob Gempel for 3.5 hours on March 4th. During that conversation Ed and Roger offered to fly Kip McKean to Indianapolis to talk about their concerns. They also offered to fly Marty back at a later date to speak to the congregation after more time had been provided to discuss their concerns about the movement. That conversation ended with Bob and Marty stating they would talk to Kip and get back in touch with Ed. They never called back. Kip, why did you lie to the people of Indianapolis?

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4. The role of Kip McKean in the International Churches of Christ.

Kip, stated on March 17th in Indianapolis the following:

    “Well, you say, you’ve gone too far by saying you’re the leader of the movement. I said ‘Oh no, I didn’t say I was. I either am or I am not…’ Ed when you think about it, every group has a CEO, every group has a president, every group has a premier. Somebody’s got to lead. Even God in a little, tiny, nuclear family has a hierarchy, its called Dad.”

The truth is as follows:
In the same sermon, Kip McKean said, “When people start talking bad about the evangelist, when people start talking bad about the leader of the movement. You’re not grumbling against Moses and Aaron, you’re not grumbling against Kip and Marty, Ron and Lavonia. You’re grumbling against the Lord. That’s either in the scriptures of it’s not.” Kip also said, “When someone under the charge of the Lord’s Anointed rises up to challenge their authority. That’s insolence.”

Who is the leader of the Movement? Who is the Lord’s anointed? It’s also very interesting that the word “anointed” is never used in the New Testament the way Kip used it here. We have included a copy of the definition of “anoint, anointing” from “An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words” by W E Vine. Kip, why did you lie to the people in Indianapolis?

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5. The number of members in the Metro (Denver) Church of Christ who are former members of the Denver Church of Christ.

Kip, stated on March 17th in Indianapolis the following:

    “The marking, well who are you in fellowship with now? Who are your heroes, Ed? And from talking, I have heard, that the church in Denver with Ron Gholston is now a hero church. Well we had Mike Rock the Evangelist of Denver do some checking on that church. And that church in three years has grown to 250 to 300 people, that’s it. Attendance, excuse me that’s not even membership. A lot of the people about one third of them are fallaways from the Denver Church.”

The truth is as follows:
The Metro Church, with Ron Gholston as their evangelist, has grown from 100 to 300 people in attendance in three years. But the truth is that only two members of the Metro Church are former members of the Denver Church of Christ. Ron Gholston in Denver can verify this fact with names and phone numbers of these members. Kip, why did you lie to the people in Indianapolis?

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6. What does the Bible say about debate?

Kip, stated on March 17th in Indianapolis the following:

    “Somebody has said, ‘why don’t we have a debate?… Secondly, it’s clear right here at least in my Bible. It says that the Evangelist, this was written to Titus, don’t get involved in foolish arguments and controversies… And he was not to get involved in controversy, he was not to get involved in a debate. Debate would just continue to injure people’s hearts and lives… But a debate won’t help people. It will confuse them, that’s why Paul said don’t get involved in a debate. As an evangelist I’ve got to obey the Word of God. To get involved in a debate, would be sinful, wrong, and injurious… I’m telling you. According to the Bible, I’m not allowed to debate. I’m not going to debate. I’ll study the scriptures one on one with anybody.”

The truth is as follows:
God’s word never says do not debate! In fact, Jesus debated the pharisees and sadducees in Mark 12:28. The apostle Paul debated the Grecian Jews in Jerusalem in Acts 9:29 and the men from Judea in Acts 15:1,2. Apollos publicly debated the Jews in Achaia in Acts 18:28. Yet you refused to debate publicaly and even did not respond to our offer to study the scriptures one on one. Kip, why did you lie to the people in Indianapolis?

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Kip McKean’s Quotes:

    “The Lord has his anointed leaders.”

    “Right here is a principle that’ll shake the Americanized Christian. To grumble against God’s leaders is to grumble against God himself. That’s very serious thing. Are we saying, ‘that Moses was perfect?,’ No Moses wasn’t perfect. Ask Aaron his brother, ask Miriam his sister. There’s been no perfect human being. Jesus was in the flesh, but he was all God and all man. Amen. I believe Peter messed up at times…. We have these ideas, that somebody put it to us that if you are a leader you’ve got to be perfect. No they’re going to be judged, they’ll even be judged more severely. But leaders are not chosen by the people like in a democracy. Leaders are chosen by God. Those of you in the audience that are leaders, I mean there should be a pit in your stomach going, Oh gee,… You mean it wasn’t the evangelist that picked me out to go into the min-No..no..no, it was the Lord. You are not an employee of the church, you are a servant of the Living God. And right here guys. We gotta.. When people start talking bad about the evangelist, when people start talking bad about the leader of the movement. You’re not grumbling against Moses and Aaron, you’re not grumbling against Kip and Marty, Ron and Lavonia. You’re grumbling against the Lord. That’s either in the scriptures or it’s not.”

    “Right here the Bible says there was insolence. What’s insolence? When someone under the charge of the Lord’s Anointed rises up to challenge their authority. That’s insolence. If you’re a parent you understand that.”

    “What is of issue here. I went over last time the issues. And the things were quote.. (end of tape, now turned over).. But in fact he is leading you to another. That’s called deceiving. Let’s just label it with Bible words. Autonomy is unbiblical. It’s not a word found in the Bible.”

    “Autonomy is not in the Bible as a word.”

    “If you oppose the Lord’s servants then you oppose the Lord.”

    “God picks the leaders and you have got to get behind them.”

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Editor’s Note: Kip McKean never responded to this letter.

Make sure you also read: The History of the Indianapolis Church of Christ split


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