Concerned Friend

West Mansfield, OH

#333 Jan 21, 2013
For all the people standing up for this place your making the same excuses that my friend has. I personally just don't feel like reading the bible and only reading the bible is what it takes. She used to be an outgoing bubbly person and now she doesn't want to go out, hang out with any of her old friends, and her personality has completely changed. This could just be part of growing up, which is completely fine. But, she says she's happier but she doesn't seem as happy to me. I'm just questioning how this "church" can feel good about what their doing when a lot of people are questioning their morals and cult like behaviors.
Michael Thomas

Grove City, OH

#334 Jan 21, 2013
I don't think some of the comments on here are fair.

Bushy, What's wrong with college aged women and men wanting to "hook up?" I mean they're socially awkward so maybe it's easier for them this way. My only concern would be if it's forced on them. What I mean is that only xenos can date xenos members. Also I am concerned if they decide to leave, what happens to them? Are they completely cut off from members of the church?
Michael Thomas

Grove City, OH

#335 Jan 21, 2013
Concerned Friend wrote:
For all the people standing up for this place your making the same excuses that my friend has. I personally just don't feel like reading the bible and only reading the bible is what it takes. She used to be an outgoing bubbly person and now she doesn't want to go out, hang out with any of her old friends, and her personality has completely changed. This could just be part of growing up, which is completely fine. But, she says she's happier but she doesn't seem as happy to me. I'm just questioning how this "church" can feel good about what their doing when a lot of people are questioning their morals and cult like behaviors.
Stories like these concern me. A religion should never change who you are personality wise. It should make you better.

Since: Jul 10

United States

#336 Jan 24, 2013
Scott Risley wrote:
<quoted text>Hello "Logic"

Why is inviting people out to a bible study cultlike? This is what Jesus told his followers to do and what everyone in the early church did (Matt 28:18-20; 2 Cor 5:11).

Also, Jesus believed in the flood (Matt 24:37-39). His apostles Paul and John believed that Satan took the form of a serpent in Genesis 3 (see 2 Cor 11:3; Rev 12:9). So that doesn't sound very cult-like either.

You are presenting such a small slice of the Biblical worldview that of course it sounds awful when you put it that way. The parts you are presenting are part of a much larger story that only make sense when the whole thing is presented. That's like presenting one sentence out of a book (out of context) and trying to characterize the whole thing.
U my XNut sound nuts again & i believe
MARY had a little lamb its page 2 line/2.. the End
Sorry bogus boring scripture BS &
DR. Suess is a MDsurgeon & hes real good @ giving lobotomys i heard as well & circumcision to manmade following "Bibla" freeks that seem to have "foreskin" covering over their brains as well..
I must get bk to 1 of MY science projects now as usual.,but will be back as need be as the robot speaks lets starts another unneeded cult/religion hhmmm lets see.. How "Robot Religion & convince ppl that robot/s are REALLY a replica of Christ in science form!?!
Agnostic @ best per se & soooo sooo tired of religion... There is NO better GOD than mine which is true b/c so far i havent met IT & neither have any of U!!!

Since: Jul 10

United States

#337 Jan 24, 2013
jrock wrote:
<quoted text>Rubbish. Man-up and check it out yourself. Quit talking about what you've "read and heard." Hearsay means nothing.

Its been more than heard its true.. so as long as youre in that Xnut HERD youre a brainwashed weak freak judging others & looking down on them if they dont follow the Xnut rules!
like school youre grade card is out..&
ITs saddddd:(:(!!!!
Michael Thomas

Grove City, OH

#338 Jan 24, 2013
^

What on earth did I just read?

Since: Jan 13

Blacklick, OH

#339 Jan 29, 2013
Let me start out by saying that I do not believe that Xenos is a cult although they do exhibit some mild cult like behaviors, which, in my opinion, are present in every organization, religious or not.

Let me preface that by stating that I do not believe in their teachings. As near as I can tell the whole basis on Xenos theology is the premise that Jesus is God, I personally do not believe that, I believe that he is quite simply the Son of God, not God him or her self.

I once was a member of Xenos Christian Fellowship but after a lengthy discussion with a couple of group leaders, I left. I was told that my salvation was in jeopardy because I don't believe that Jesus is God, I believe that he was given all authority to rule over creation by God and I believe that he died for all of my sins, past, present and future. I took what they were telling me as "You're going to hell because you don't believe like we do." It was requested by these two leaders that I no longer attend the mens group. I was also requested to no longer ask questions in home church because they felt my questions were meant to make people doubt their faith and Xenos's so called biblical teachings although I could ask in private if I wanted. The questions I asked were all based on my own life experience, biblical knowledge/understanding and because what they were teaching caused conflicts and confusion in my own head that I wanted cleared up.

I harbor no ill-feelings or ill-will against Xenos or their leaders but their ways are definately not my ways and I do not believe what they teach as I do not believe what the vast majority of evangelical christians teach/believe. Once again I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, not God and I believe that he did indeed die for all of my sins.
jrock

Columbus, OH

#340 Jan 29, 2013
Michael Thomas wrote:
I don't think some of the comments on here are fair.
Bushy, What's wrong with college aged women and men wanting to "hook up?" I mean they're socially awkward so maybe it's easier for them this way. My only concern would be if it's forced on them. What I mean is that only xenos can date xenos members. Also I am concerned if they decide to leave, what happens to them? Are they completely cut off from members of the church?
I already answered part of this. Xenos "members" are not required to only date others in Xenos. Also, there is no official "membership" in Xenos. What Xenos encourages, and what the Bible encourages, is dating somebody who is "equally yoked" to you. Which means, if you have decided to make a commitment to follow God and your partner has no interest, or even discourages you from following God that may not be looked at as a healthy relationship. Again, that's God's rule, not a "Xenos rule."
jrock

Columbus, OH

#341 Jan 29, 2013
Concerned Friend wrote:
For all the people standing up for this place your making the same excuses that my friend has. I personally just don't feel like reading the bible and only reading the bible is what it takes. She used to be an outgoing bubbly person and now she doesn't want to go out, hang out with any of her old friends, and her personality has completely changed. This could just be part of growing up, which is completely fine. But, she says she's happier but she doesn't seem as happy to me. I'm just questioning how this "church" can feel good about what their doing when a lot of people are questioning their morals and cult like behaviors.
So you are the one judging if your friend is truly happy, not her? Wanna find out the truth? Go yourself. Check it out. So she doesn't like to party like she used to? We all have to grow up some day. If you want to question Xenos, do it first-hand, and not on some website like this. Experience it, whatever it is, first-hand. Then you can have an honest discussion with your friend.
jrock

Columbus, OH

#342 Jan 29, 2013
MoeSmith wrote:
Let me start out by saying that I do not believe that Xenos is a cult although they do exhibit some mild cult like behaviors, which, in my opinion, are present in every organization, religious or not.
Let me preface that by stating that I do not believe in their teachings. As near as I can tell the whole basis on Xenos theology is the premise that Jesus is God, I personally do not believe that, I believe that he is quite simply the Son of God, not God him or her self.
I once was a member of Xenos Christian Fellowship but after a lengthy discussion with a couple of group leaders, I left. I was told that my salvation was in jeopardy because I don't believe that Jesus is God, I believe that he was given all authority to rule over creation by God and I believe that he died for all of my sins, past, present and future. I took what they were telling me as "You're going to hell because you don't believe like we do." It was requested by these two leaders that I no longer attend the mens group. I was also requested to no longer ask questions in home church because they felt my questions were meant to make people doubt their faith and Xenos's so called biblical teachings although I could ask in private if I wanted. The questions I asked were all based on my own life experience, biblical knowledge/understanding and because what they were teaching caused conflicts and confusion in my own head that I wanted cleared up.
I harbor no ill-feelings or ill-will against Xenos or their leaders but their ways are definately not my ways and I do not believe what they teach as I do not believe what the vast majority of evangelical christians teach/believe. Once again I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, not God and I believe that he did indeed die for all of my sins.
Thank you for your honesty, Moe. Though I cannot attest to you being asked not to ask questions, etc., everything else you say is true. Christians in Xenos do believe Jesus is God, and this is the only way to eternal life. We believe this because the Bible states it, not because we made it up. This is what defines us as "Christian." Certainly you are free to believe anything you want. I could discuss with you why Jesus as a man, not God, isn't able to die for anybody's sins any more than you or I, but that's theology. Regardless, I appreciate your comments. Xenos is not for everyone. But we do believe that the Bible is for all people.
Michael Thomas

Grove City, OH

#343 Jan 29, 2013
^

See I am confused even though I have gone multiple times. Do they believe in trinity or oneness, because those two are not the same thing.

Since: Jan 13

Blacklick, OH

#344 Jan 30, 2013
jrock wrote:
<quoted text>
Thank you for your honesty, Moe. Though I cannot attest to you being asked not to ask questions, etc., everything else you say is true. Christians in Xenos do believe Jesus is God, and this is the only way to eternal life. We believe this because the Bible states it, not because we made it up. This is what defines us as "Christian." Certainly you are free to believe anything you want. I could discuss with you why Jesus as a man, not God, isn't able to die for anybody's sins any more than you or I, but that's theology. Regardless, I appreciate your comments. Xenos is not for everyone. But we do believe that the Bible is for all people.
Jrock, I do love my Bible and read it faithfully everyday. My interpretation and understanding is different than yours true, but I never stop having faith. My faith (read relationship with God) is ever changing and evolving into something greater that has meaning to me and my life. God bless you and your fellow Xenoids. Only thing I can add at this point is that the full truth will be revealed in the end when God finally hears the saints crying out for justice as it states in Revelations
Emily Fravel

Springboro, OH

#345 Jan 31, 2013
Scott Risley contacted my husband asking us why I'm "bashing" him and Xenos in public. Clearly, if you read my previous comment, I did not even mention Scott. Now, he's tooted his own horn here talking about how great he is as an elder and that was the jist of the message to my husband. He went on about how great he is, how much he served us, and how he's really hurt.

Biblically speaking, the "chain of command" so to speak is to talk first to the person who hurt or sinned against you. When I've done this in the past with Scott, his wife, other leaders, and other members I maybe got a half assed apology followed up with the reasons why the situation was my fault anyway. This is why, over the years, I learned to not go to people who sinned against me.

I was consistently nit picked over the years. I played with my hair at meetings. I dressed to stumble the men (I got that talk long after I figured out the whole modesty thing and anytime there was the teeniest hint of tightness to my shirt or cleavage.

Many dating couples are in fact controlled and very closely watched. I once put my hand on my now husband's leg during a teaching and he got pulled aside afterwards by a leader to make sure we weren't "stumbling". He also got lectured when we watched Bull Durham together. It's a sexy movie, you know. We weren't forbidden from discussing sex before we were married but we were told that we'd have a happier sex life if we didn't "stumble" ourselves by discussing things.

So no, I didn't go get me a boyfriend and get into sexual sin with him. If anyone has been publicly bashed, it's me. I'm however, not quite that sensitive anymore. It's the misguided opinion of one person who doesn't know me but lashed out anyway.

I never said that Xenos is a cult. They do have some cult like tendencies. They win people through love bombing. They will do things for you and spend time with you until a point when they think you should be reaching a certain level of commitment. I learned to fear the words, "Sooo...can we talk?"

I have no idea who jrock is, but he's not someone who "knows me personally." He may have known me on some level when I was involved in Xenos, but he didn't and does not know me personally.

People who have asked me why I left in the last 2+ years have expressed that I never could shut up. never could just go along, I never agreed for the sake of peace. Even in being out of the church, the problems I had were still all my fault.

If you look online at the complaints of others' against Xenos, you will see across the board that anyone who was hurt by Xenos is to blame often with insult and derision. Dennis McCallum himself has engaged in this behavior.

Xenos is likely not a cult. What it likely is is a church that has gotten too big with poor oversight of it's members who lead. This leads to a spiritually abusive environment in some cases.

Even in the best, most biblical of churches, people hurt each other. The impression that
people in Xenos liked to paint of me was that I expected to never be hurt. This isn't true. I expected real heartfelt apologies and real resolution. I simply couldn't accept being blamed for every single hurt I ever faced. In over 10 years only two people ever sincerely apologized to me.

One night, my husband came home to his ministry house and overheard his roommates actually bashing him. Making fun of his mannerisms, his hair, the music he liked, the way he talked. They were a part of a "We Hate G**** Club" that met every week while he was out doing high school ministry. My husband has forgiven those people but when I asked him if he would be ok with either of his sons going through that, he said that it would break his heart. It's something that has been forgiven but has still left scars. He couldn't bear to force those sorts of scars on our sons.
chas

Columbus, OH

#346 Jan 31, 2013
Xenos IS a cult. They absolutely DO seek to control members' dating and friendships. I have Xenos people trying to rent houses from me every year, wanting to live 2 and 3 to a bedroom. Why? Because no one is trusted to be alone, even in their own homes.
Michael Thomas

Grove City, OH

#347 Jan 31, 2013
^

That is EXACTLY what I have been waiting to hear. I applaud you for having the courage to talk about it. I am sorry for what you went through.
Scott Risley

Columbus, OH

#348 Jan 31, 2013
Hi Emily-

I'm not even sure how to respond to this public attack. The reason I tried to contact you and your husband privately (I sent facebook messages to each of you) is because even though you didn't mention me by name you clearly were referring to events that happened while you were in my home church as a dating couple. I was trying to do what Jesus says in Matthew 18 - to try to resolve your dispute in private if you have a problem with a fellow brother or sister.

Your husband was kind enough to respond to me. He said he doesn't share the same opinion that you are expressing here. He reminded me of how I stuck up for him when those other guys were making fun of him in the story you mentioned at the bottom of your post and urged them to apologize to him.

I'm not sure what you mean by tooting my own horn or talking about how great I am. I don't think feeling hurt is tooting my own horn. I said to you privately that I thought we parted on good terms and I could only remember several positive interactions toward the end of our friendship.

On this board I have said that I want to put a stop to alleged cult-like behaviors in a church where I am responsible to lead. And I've tried to interact in a responsive way with the various posters, offering to track down claims they are making.

Honestly, this is the first time I've heard you complain about these things. And they all took place 10-12 years ago, so it's going to be hard to track down exactly what happened. I certainly don't remember things going down this way, and I'm not aware of these things going on now. If your husband was bringing forward the same complaints I think your story would carry more weight.

If you are serious about trying to resolve things I would be glad to talk privately.
Emily Fravel wrote:
Scott Risley contacted my husband asking us why I'm "bashing" him and Xenos in public. Clearly, if you read my previous comment, I did not even mention Scott. Now, he's tooted his own horn here talking about how great he is as an elder and that was the jist of the message to my husband. He went on about how great he is, how much he served us, and how he's really hurt.
Biblically speaking, the "chain of command" so to speak is to talk first to the person who hurt or sinned against you. When I've done this in the past with Scott, his wife, other leaders, and other members I maybe got a half assed apology followed up with the reasons why the situation was my fault anyway...
Scott Risley

Columbus, OH

#349 Jan 31, 2013
You're referring to ministry houses, where people do typically share rooms, but not for the reason you mention here.

I already posted on this topic earlier so I'm just going to refer you to that: http://www.topix.com/forum/columbus/TL0CG034B...
chas wrote:
Xenos IS a cult. They absolutely DO seek to control members' dating and friendships. I have Xenos people trying to rent houses from me every year, wanting to live 2 and 3 to a bedroom. Why? Because no one is trusted to be alone, even in their own homes.
Wait what

Dublin, OH

#350 Jan 31, 2013
chas wrote:
Xenos IS a cult. They absolutely DO seek to control members' dating and friendships. I have Xenos people trying to rent houses from me every year, wanting to live 2 and 3 to a bedroom. Why? Because no one is trusted to be alone, even in their own homes.
I hadn't really paid attention before but now that you mention it, there is a lot of sharing - between parents and married children, or singles, or whatever. Interesting.
Scott Risley

Columbus, OH

#351 Feb 1, 2013
Since when is sharing bad?

Keep in mind that sharing rooms is the majority living arrangement on campus. All of the dorms do it, and all of the frats and sororities do as well. Also see my other post on ministry houses (I posted a link in the previous post).
Wait what wrote:
<quoted text>
I hadn't really paid attention before but now that you mention it, there is a lot of sharing - between parents and married children, or singles, or whatever. Interesting.
Wait what

Dublin, OH

#352 Feb 1, 2013
Scott Risley wrote:
Since when is sharing bad?
Keep in mind that sharing rooms is the majority living arrangement on campus. All of the dorms do it, and all of the frats and sororities do as well. Also see my other post on ministry houses (I posted a link in the previous post).
<quoted text>
Wow, you are seriously defensive.

I made note of the point, and there is nothing wrong with that. I wonder about 30 somethings who are still living with their parents even after getting married and also 30 somethings who have to live in a group and are afraid to live by themselves. That indicates a co-dependency, which is different than young 20 somethings fresh out of college (or still in college) trying to find their ground.

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