Hypocrisy: May 2003 Archives

May 17, 2003

Extreme church in crisis

The International Churches of Christ has problems. The leader of the extrememly strict Christian sect has obeyed his own rules and resigned when his daughter left the Church. Since then its world governing body has dissolved and dozens of local church leaders have resigned or been fired, in part because churches can no longer afford to pay their salaries. The Church was founded in Boston in 1979:

There, McKean constructed a new kind of church based on a hierarchy some have likened to an Amway sales pyramid and others have compared to the military. Every church member has a superior called a discipler to hold him or her accountable for sins. Known as the Boston Church of Christ or the Boston Movement, the church attracted tens of thousands of members from all backgrounds, who later moved on to form the Manhattan Church of Christ, the Chicago Church of Christ, and hundreds of other churches, spreading to London, Sydney, Moscow, Nairobi, and other cities. Wildly ambitious, McKean's goal was a church in every sizable US city and in every country within a few decades. But the system had a dark side: Those who failed to give 10 percent of their income or who couldn't recruit enough new members were publicly humiliated, according to former members. Those who questioned authority were shunned or kicked out.

A Christian community falters - Boston Globe, 17th May 2003.

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This page is an archive of entries in the Hypocrisy category from May 2003.

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