Letter to Wayne Geiling of Heritage Chapel Church of Christ from Memorial Church of Christ
April 14, 1977
Heritage Chapel Church of Christ
917 Woodlawn Drive
Charleston, Ill. 61920
Regretfully, we are forced to make the following statements:
We do not feel that Roger Lamb and Kip McKean understood the seriousness of the numerous items, many of these doctrinally based, that were rehearsed to them on April 4, 1977, in the presence of the Charleston elders, the Memorial preachers and elders, and the deacons on the Memorial Mission Committee.
Therefore, we are obliged to discontinue our financial support of these two men on May 15, 1977. We also are cancelling our campaign to Charleston this summer.
In addition, we plan to make this information known to the Memorial congregation before May 15.
If the Memorial elders concur with the Charleston elders on a new minister for the Charleston church, we would like opportunity to consider supporting the new man.
It is not proper for us to continue to support men in other places that we would not support at Memorial. It appears Brother Lamb has lost his trust and confidence in the elders of his “sponsoring” church. His statements concerning our “spying,” that we were on a “witch hunt,” and that we were “unfair” in conducting a discussion in the manner that we did, speaks of a deepest attitude in which we cannot trust each other in the manner we should to find complete openness and cooperation in preaching the Word. The negative, defensive, evasive posture that Roger exhibited to us is one that we would not allow by anyone we support.
We believe that Brother McKean has brought unBiblical practice, peculiar language, and subtle, deceitful doctrines to Charleston from the Crossroads church at Gainesville, Florida.
Both ministers constantly refused to admit there was even a problem, and they refused to accept a warning about where some “minor departures” would lead (even in Charleston). There is a growing list of divisive situations across the nation where the Crossroad’s influence has permeated. This is ample evidence to attest to the dangers of their unsound doctrines and practices. These divisive doctrines must be recognized by watchmen on the walls of Zion before troubles are caused within the walls.
Without detailing the arguments, the Memorial elders, four preachers, and five deacons on the Mission Committee, are 100% agreed on their evaluation and opposition to the following items:
- Prayer Partner Concept as now practiced – This includes confession of intimate sins, peer pressure to conform to human judgmental standards, and intimation. We believe this to be “artificially supported Christianity.”
- Emotionalism – This appeals to the feet rather than the heart, and emotions are equated with Spirituality.
- Power – Spirit – Growth Concept – as taught by Chuck Lucas and Sammy Laing. We do not believe the only way to grow in Spirit is to serve others. We grow through study of God’s Word.
- The book, THE MASTER PLAN OF EVANGELISM, was written by a liberal , Holy Spirit-led theologian. It’s advocated methods if followed, are dangerous.
- “Personal” indwelling of the Holy Spirit – The Holy Spirit does not miraculously indwell the Christian to sustain him individually. If He does, then He failed to sustain the lives of those Christians in Hebrews 6:4-6; also chapter 10:25-29.
- “Slow drift” programs – Some of these may appear all right within the limits that careful supervision can set, but they will to wrong conclusions and practices in the hands of the exuberant and inexperienced. Roger and Kip rejected all our advice and counsel on these matters.
- The concept that every Christian must spend every waking hour in “sharing” by humanly set standards.
- The hyper-criticism and judgments employed against our brethren in general and the wedge this drives in the church especially between the older and younger.
- Women leading in prayer in the presence of men – Not allowing this must have basis than “if eating meat offend” ( 1 Timothy 2:8).
- The concept that someone besides Jesus has to suffer in order for me to be saved.
- The judgment of humans that mature knowledge must be gained before one is allowed to be baptized.
- That conversion is more than man’s obedience to natural, spiritual law.
- The exclusion attitude, smugness, intolerance, and eliteism that is evident in the Campus Advance ministry. – This does not necessarily mean that Charleston is plagued with this attitude at this time, except as indicated by a failure on our part to “get through” to the two ministers.
- Staking too much on one method (THE MASTER PLAN OF EVANGELISM), one church (Crossroads), and one man (Chuck Lucas) – Brother Lamb and Brother McKean appear to be wholly absorbed in following all three.
We love the Charleston church, and we love and appreciate you elders. We recognize additional problems our decision will bring to you, but we are left no choice but to immediately terminate our association with both Roger and Kip. Heritage Chapel can overcome these difficulties through your own love, dedication, supervisic watchcare, and God’s grace.
In Christian Love,
It is with deep sadness that we announce that on May 15, 1977, this congregation will discontinue its financial support of Roger Lamb and Kip McKean at Charleston, Illinois. The elders of the Charleston congregation have been advised of this decision, and of our reasons for it. As faithful Christians, you are entitles to know those reasons.
Roger Lamb served Memorial faithfully for years, and we came to love him and his family. Recently, however, we became aware of indications that Roger and Kip McKEan were teaching doctrines and following practices that were not in accordance with God’s Word. We were very reluctant to believe this. Therefore, we gave the matter the deepest study and consideration, including a trip to Charleston made by two elders, one deacon, and one minister, and personal conferences with Roger and Kip, the Charleston elders, and Memorial’s ministers and deacons on the Mission Committee of Memorial concluded unanimously that Roger and Keip were in fact, teaching and practicing doctrines and policies which were not in accordance with the Bible. Their motives may well have been good, but these doctrines and practices were not. WE asked them to change this by breaking away from this teaching and its source. They would not agree to do this. The elders here must account to God for your souls, and for all that is entrusted to us, including the Lord’s money. Therefore, we had no choice but to terminate the support.
We will be available to meet with any of you to discuss in detail the practices and doctrines which were wrong. Also, the elders intend for in-depth lessons and information to be presented to you about this in the near future. By way of summary, however, the problems apparently originated from a congregation in the Southeastern United States. A “new” plan was developed based mostly on a book written by a man who apparently claims to have been miraculously inspired by the Holy Spirit, in the 20th Century. The result has been that, in many areas, persons have been teaching or practicing things such as these that are foreign to God’s Word:
- That a person should be refused the right to be baptized until some other human decides, or “judges”, that the candidate has sufficient “mature knowledge.”
- The idea that every Christian must have a superior, or more mature, “prayer partner” to whom he or she must confess every sin, whether of action or only of thought, no matter how personal, how intimate, or how destructive that might be; also, that the one confessing may be “disciplined” in various ways until he or she satisfies standards which are established by human judgment.
- The idea that in addition to Jesus, some human must suffer in order for another human to be saved.
- The idea that every Christian must spend every waking hour in “sharing”, as defined by standards established by humans.
- That women may lead public prayer in the presence of men.
These are not the only un-scriptural teachings and practices involved, but as you can see, those alone would make it necessary for us to terminate the financial support.
As your elders and fellow Christians, we ask that you join your prayers with ours that in the future, Roger and Kip will use their God-given abilities to teach the pure Gospel and that the Charleston elders may be strong in faith and truth to guide the congregation in Charleston, and that Memorial in some way, may help that congregation to grow and be strong in the Lord’s Work.
COMMENT: After the elders from Charleston were here in the meeting, they went back and met with Roger and Kip, asking them to make the necessary changes and to turn away from the false teachings and the people associated with it. Roger and Kip would not agree with their elders to do this. All this information is documented through tapes and discussions.