International Christian Church
|International Christian Church|
Globes that the ICC gives to missionaries.
|Classification||Christian, Restorationist, Christian Fundamentalism|
|Orientation||Bible, Restorationist, Discipleship|
|Associations||MERCYworldwide, UpSideDown21, Discipleship Media, International College of Christian Ministries|
|Region||21 nations |
|Founder||Kip McKean & Elena McKean|
|Separated from||International Churches of Christ|
The International Christian Church (abbreviated 'ICC,') is a conservative fundamentalist Christian Protestant denomination of about 3000 members and 38 congregations, which started in 2006 with 800 members as a split from the International Churches of Christ (ICOC). Kip McKean, the leader of the (ICC) has been dismissed from his previous church, the Churches of Christ and then later disfellowshipped from the International Churches of Christ. 
On 12 November 2001, McKean, who had led the International Churches of Christ, issued a statement that he was going to take a sabbatical from his role of leadership in the church:
|“||“God through His Word, through circumstances and through true brothers has made it clear that my leadership in recent years has damaged both the Kingdom and my family. My most significant sin is arrogance — thinking I am always right, not listening to the counsel of my brothers, and not seeking discipling for my life, ministry and family. ... I also take full responsibility for the spiritual condition of my family.||”|
Nearly a full year later, on 6 November 2002, McKean resigned his World Missions Evangelist leadership position with the ICOC. He cited family problems and apologized for his own arrogance. McKean indicated that his leadership sins:
|“||"have weakened and embittered many in our churches," ||”|
Two years later, In 2004, numerous church leaders associated with the ICOC from around the world called for an end to his potential influence over the ICOC. A letter was drafted by elders, teachers and evangelists of the ICOC highlighting their ongoing concerns about McKean, and urging him to repent for what they considered to be sinful behavior. Since McKean did not respond to the letter from the Elders, a second statement was drafted disfellowshipping McKean and warning him
|“||"We are deeply concerned for those lives you will affect in the future. Since you have not demonstrated repentance and are resuming your harmful methods, our 30 years of experience with you shows that if you continue to build as you did before in your new churches: Two thirds will fall away, the weak will be left behind, some of your churches will grow rapidly yet will not mature in Christ, you will not resolve conflict among leaders and then will suffer another firestorm in the future at the hand of God's discipline. This zeal without knowledge and wisdom will be constantly frustrated in [your attempts] trying to evangelize the world." ||”|
From then on, McKean began to organize a network of new churches that he named the International Christian Church (ICC), or the "Sold-Out Discipling Movement", a term which refers to the total commitment expected of every member. He sent out a mission team to begin a new congregation in Phoenix, AZ in 2006 and then led a team to Los Angeles in 2007 to start the City of Angels International Christian Church. Each member is expected to give 10% of their income to the church. Additionally there are three Special Mission Contributions during the year which each member is expected to financially support.
In August 2008, the Portland International Christian Church under the new leadership of Steve Johnson, made the decision to break ties with McKean and the ICC. The church chose rather to realign itself with the ICOC family of churches.  Douglas Arthur, long time friend of McKean's and lead evangelist of the Boston Church of Christ explained:
|“||I personally traveled to Portland in May of 2006 to admonish my friend Kip and the Elders in Portland about "letting no unwholesome talk come out of their mouths" Eph 4:29. With the encouragement of Steve and Lisa Johnson, Kip showed some signs of changing, but in time quickly reverted back to slandering other churches not under his direction... People would be contacted and told that their church was now dead and if they had any hope of doing their best for God they should come join the new "Sold Out" congregation. This pattern was repeated in a several cities around the world.||”|
Four other churches, who initially listed with the Portland Movement, have since followed Portland's lead and disassociated themselves from the International Christian Churches.
The International Christian Church is currently banned from the campus of Boston's Northeastern University, which recently issued the following warning on its website: "Warning! ... The Boston International Christian Church have been operating under a variety of names. Due to negative behaviors, these groups have been officially banned from NU recognition, as well as from many other universities..." 
Beliefs and Practices
Each new member must study the Bible, see that they are currently lost and separated from God as a consequence of their previous sins, agree to submit his/her life to Jesus and the authority of the church, make God and the church their first priority in their life, confess and repent of their sins, be baptized (fully immersed) in water for the forgiveness of those sins.
The general practice of the church is to hide their weaknesses and trumpet their successes through a weekly "Good News email". What is shown, is all the people joining the church. What is hidden, is all the people leaving the church. Websites themed | "Why I left the ICC" have sprung up to provide another perspective. Personal stories of harsh, authoritarian leadership abuses are described so people can "peer behind the curtain."  Sadly these are the very same leadership sins that led the International Churches of Christ to disfellowship McKean.
The ICC emphasizes that Jesus' church in the Bible was persecuted, and therefore, members should not be concerned when outsiders refer to the ICC as a cult or with other emotionally charged terminology. In fact, the ICC teaches that having detractors is great evidence that the they are effectively imitating the teachings and practices of the church of the first century. Victor Gonzalez, Jn disagrees, having been a part of the ICC since it's inception, he was recently thrown out of the church for disagreeing with some of the practices of the church. He describes having been physically manhandled by top leaders when he attended the GLC. 
|“||Most disciples “expect” persecution from “the world.” The false charges against God’s new SoldOut Movement include being labeled a “cult,” and our members derided as “brainwashed” and “mind-controlled.” - Kip McKean, March 8, 2014||”|
According to Michael Taliaferro, leaders of the ICC, misrepresent the beliefs of the ICOC and paint a misleading picture, often calling it "dead and dying", despite the ICOC growing by over 15 000 members in the last few years.  McKean has repeatedly admitted that he has struggled with bitterness in his heart towards some of the leaders of the ICOC, which comes out in his speaking and descriptions of the ICOC.
|“||I do believe that for most “remnant veteran disciples,” acedia [bitterness] is our “sin of choice” as our “hope” of a glorious church that would reach all nations was “deferred” by our sins!" - Kip McKean, June 16th, 2014||”|
 McKean also states that "most ICOC churches changed their names to align with the CoC", whereas only 5 of the 650 churches actually did so.  Additionally the ICC has classes at the annual leadership Jubilee, where members are trained and instructed how to reach out to and "harvest" people away from their "former fellowship".  Not content to simply evangelise non-Christians, they try to boost their growth by "drawing disciples away" from their current ICOC congregations. This is consistent with what the scriptures teach in Acts 20:30 
The church justifies it's tactics to recruit from existing churches of disciples by using "remnant theology". This is an Old Testament concept describing Israelites who had not fallen into idolatry and abandoned their faith. This theology is twisted to apply to New Testament disciples who are in churches not under McKean's leadership. This same "Remnant Theology" has been used by many groups to make the group feel unique and justify exclusivism. The Seventh-day Adventist Church, has put a lot of emphasis on the remnant theme. 
Further tenets of the church:
- Jesus resurrected physically from the dead.
- The Bible is the Word of God, perfect, and the basis of church authority.
- Members must be "sold-out," completely committed disciples
- The One True Church of the Bible is made up of only "sold-out" disciples who hold to the correct beliefs, including water baptism by immersion for the forgiveness of sins.
- "Be silent were the Bible speaks, speak where the Bible is silent."
- The church is led by a Central Leadership. Local congregations have an overseeing evangelist, with a worldwide organization. Every church pays a tax to cover the overheads of the top leadership group, the World Sector Council.
- The Evangelization of all Nations in this Generation – Jesus' Great Commission of Matthew 28 - means every member brings new members to the church and every member is involved in "discipling" relationships.
The full outline of basic beliefs are available for study in the church's published doctrinal guide, called "First Principles." 
Meetings and ministries
The ICC has several main meetings: Sunday worship, the World Missions Jubilee, and the Global Leadership Conference, as well as the Spanish-language Latin ministry (Ministerio Latino).
Sunday worship services are held every week with singing, prayer, communion, contribution for ministry expenses, contribution for benevolence, sermon, announcements, and fellowship. Once or more times a year there is another contribution, the "Special Contribution," which is typically a multiple of 15-21 times the regular weekly contribution. This "Special Contribution" is taken up to fund missions and additional ministry expenses. Great emphasis is placed on each member reaching his or her goals of regular and sacrificial financial giving.
The International College of Christian Ministry (ICCM) is the internal "university" of the ICC. Credits are gained through hours spent leading Bible Talks amongst other study courses, so it is not accredited, but the ICCM can award symbolic Bachelor, Masters and Doctorate Degrees in the ICC's Ministry. Though these degrees would not be recognised anywhere else.
The Global Leadership Conference (GLC) is an annual conference for members in leadership roles or those who aspire to leadership within the church.
The World Missions Jubilee is a semi-annual conference of all of the congregations from around the world and all members are strongly encouraged to attend. Heavy fundraising usually takes place leading up to this conference to help pay for the many conference expenses as well as ministry compensation and expenses.
"Ministerio Latino" is Spanish for "Latin ministry" and are Spanish-speaking groups within some ICC churches.
The ICC runs and helps fund severalorganizations which organize charitable work, publishing, religious education and the dissemination of church news.
Founded in 2008 and based on HOPE Worldwide, Maximizing Efforts for Relief Care and Youth (MERCY), is the benevolent arm of the church and organizes charitable events including toy drives, blood donation drives, feeding hungry children, adoptions, and temporary clinics.
Discipleship Media (DM) is the nascent publishing arm of the ICC and currently publishes "First Principles" church booklets written by church founder Kip McKean, which contain the teachings that new members of the church must accept before being baptized and then adhere to as members.
The Good News Network (GNN) is the film-making arm of the ICC, and has produced the short film, Eyes Wide Open.
Currently there are 38 congregations in 20 different countries. The average size of each congregation is 52 members when you factor out the Los Angeles congregation.
- Kip-mckean.com – Get Your Answers Here!
- Timothy R. Callahan, "Boston movement' founder quits,", Christianity Today, posted 3/1/2003 (accessed December 16, 2013)
- Brothers from the ICOC (4 November 2005). "Brothers' Statement to Kip McKean 4 November 2005". Disciples Today. Retrieved 6 May 2012..
- http://www.exicc.org ExICC.org,
- http://www.caicc.net/2014/03/08/tear-down-this-wall-by-kip-mckean/ Kip McKean, CAICC.net website, March 8, 2014
- Raul Moreno, "Bringing in the Remnant", 2013 Global Leadership Conference 
- Seventh-day Adventist Church: Fundamental Beliefs
- UpSideDown21: Official website of the International Christian Churches
- CAICC.net, official website of the City of Angels ICC
- MERCY Worldwide: Official website of MERCY Worldwide