Former Member

Hinckley, OH

#523 Jul 31, 2013
Questions wrote:
@ Former Member,
I never heard of stories like that, not only getting kicked out of home group, but having your 'dirty laundry' presented to everyone in the open. I'm sorry that your house church humiliated you like that.
Now that you mention it, they do have a tendency to persuade people to stay instate to work with the church. Not any church, but Xenos in particular. I'm a materials engineering major currently at OSU, and they tried to convince me to cut down my coursework so I can donate more time to the church. The fact that this happened during a point in time in my life where I was wondering what I was doing with my life didn't really help. I'm still not sure if Xenos is a cult, per se, but your story is starting to confirm some gut feelings I've had recently about things under the cover that need addressing.
Are there any other stories about Xenos that I should consider? I've heard stories about things going on in ministry houses that can be quite cultic in nature, but I don't know if they're true or not.
I have tons of stories I could tell. What more do you want to know? And my best advice to you is make it very clear from the get go that you are on a path at school and work and there is no negotiating in that path. Now this will more than likely lead to some tension, they will make condescending comments like "well as long as you are doing it to glorify God" or "as long as you are doing it to help your relationship with God."

One story that could help you is this...

When I first began attending the church regularly I informed our group leader that as an aspiring musician it was my dream to go to the Berklee College of Music. When I told them it was in Boston they immediately flipped a switch saying "it sounds to me like you want to do that because its what you want to do; not what god wants you to do." Then I made the point that I truly felt that I have a talent for music that came from God. I raised the question that "if I were to ignore this God given talent wouldn't I be doing God a disservice?" And they responded, "it would be a bigger disservice to walk away from God." As if God can only be in one place; Xenos. My best advice for you is to be careful and not emotionally tie yourself to this group. It led to a very dark and confusing time for me in my life.
Jim

Columbus, OH

#524 Aug 8, 2013
I am appalled that you could make a statement like this without taking the time to check your facts. Essentially every point you made here is a blatant lie. To prove my point... That pastor you were talking about, organized the raising of TEN THOUSAND dollars to donate to Kwesi's memorial fund. Most of which came from HEART BROKEN peers of Kwesi.

http://www.donationto.com/We-Love-Kwesi--Samp...
friend of the family wrote:
The young man named Kwesi Sample died with this group on Tuesday May 14, 2013. According to the detectives he was playing a game with 6 other members in the water when he lost his footing and was pulled under. This is certainly a Cult according to the following actions.
No one attempted to go out to him in the water to try to save him although there were 6 other people including his house leader in the water with him
No one with the group ever called his parents
The group would not speak to the grandmother who went down to North Carolina the day he disappeared
The Pastor (I use that word losely) has yet to contact the parents
None of the other kids showed any emotions (they're not allowed to show emotion) not even his so called girlfriend
And the worst thing of all
The group contained their retreat until Saturday May 18th
kwesi's body came ashore on Sunday May 19th
They might not be a Cult but they certainly are not good people.
Talk to your kids before they go off to college, this is where they are being recruited. These people are about to find out how much Kwesi was loved and cared for. <quoted text>
Max

Wilmington, NC

#526 Aug 8, 2013
I think she might have heard some of that wrong. I've been with xenos for over 10 years. I even went to school there. They don't teach that Jewish people are bad and I don't ever recall the holocaust being mentioned or referred to. No worries!
Closer to Kwesi

Columbus, OH

#527 Aug 9, 2013
Jim wrote:
I am appalled that you could make a statement like this without taking the time to check your facts. Essentially every point you made here is a blatant lie. To prove my point... That pastor you were talking about, organized the raising of TEN THOUSAND dollars to donate to Kwesi's memorial fund. Most of which came from HEART BROKEN peers of Kwesi.
http://www.donationto.com/We-Love-Kwesi--Samp...
<quoted text>
Not all of the statements are true, but to be fair they are certainly not all false. Reach out to your Pastor. He will tell you when he reached out to the family. I believe he will also tell you the retreat continued. And lastly, that link included additional donations. Read the previous post that breaks down how much each member would have donated if each person donated at the HUGE memorial held while Kwesi was still under water. Usually you hold a prayer vigil or such. A memorial being held while his FAMILY was at home grieving, and his grandmother was sitting on the beach waiting for his body to surface could rub the family wrong. And, let's not forget that his family including his younger twin brother and sister, his big sister, his parents, his grandparents, his aunts, and uncles, and other family would gladly give you back your donation that appears to be such a huge point made by the members back if they could just love on him one more time. PS...the site was created and set up by a close friend of the family not connected to the church, Jewel Jackson. The church donated like anyone else feeling the desire to do so. Stop pretending they did something that others did not do. It is offensive that the members seem to be more irritated than the family. You want to hear the voice of pain...reach out to his mother who is missing the child who shared her physical space for thirty four weeks. Or the grandmother who struggles to hear helicopters after hearing them over the water her grandson was in for five days. Or the twins who long to hear the voice of their brother. Or his niece who carries the picture of her uncle, and at six longs to have him put her on his shoulders just one more time. Or, keep being defensive. Either way, nothing you say or do will fill the void left in the hearts of his loved ones. But don't assume that everything the family friend posted is a lie. Continue to pray for the family.
Questions

Columbus, OH

#528 Aug 26, 2013
@Former Member,
Thank you for your story. However, I am curious about two points.
1) Have you heard any stories about situations in the mission houses, as I've heard of things going on in there? Whether they're true or not, I don't know.
2) Were you able to get your musical ambitions back on track after leaving Xenos? I hope you don't mind me asking, if it isn't too personal.
jrock

Columbus, OH

#529 Aug 26, 2013
Sigh.....

Yes, Xenos has kicked people out of the church for sexual sin.

Yes, people are encouraged to consider their career choices, especially ones that may pull them away from a life lived in service to God, which is what he calls us to.

Both biblical. Look it up if you want.

Yes, a lot of kids in Xenos come from the suburbs? Why? A lot of adults who go to Xenos also happen to live in the suburbs.

No, people don't give alcohol to minors.

There are plenty of churches out there where you can "play" church or be a casual Christian. Feel free to go find one. Xenos certainly isn't perfect because people aren't perfect.

For those parents out there who are "afraid" for you kids going to Xenos I understand. It's scary when your child wants to check out something new, different than the church that you believe in and raised them in. I suspect a lot of parents, especially those who attend a more traditional church, would be concerned if their children attended ANY church other than their own.

Xenos is an easy target because it's not traditional, it's evangelistic, and thousands of people have attended Xenos over the years. But most of you do not see what Xenos has done for so many people and how so many people's lives have been changed, not by Xenos, but by the truth of the bible that is taught in Xenos. Unfortunately, some of you don't even understand the Gospel message, the message of grace.

Nobody's perfect, even the elders in Xenos will admit that. But I'll say again: if you want to sit on the sidelines and bash any group your words ring hollow. Go and check it out. Third-hand experience means nothing.
jrock

Columbus, OH

#530 Aug 26, 2013
Worried wrote:
<quoted text>
I have a friend who is part of this group. The more he talks the more I'm sure they are a cult, or very cult like. They have 3 meetings a week and if you dont go to one you are made to feel bad. If you don't get a first shift job you are made to feel bad. If you go to date someone outside of the religion the "leaders or elders" will try and talk you out of it and keep harping on it. They encourage you to only live in their houses. They seperate you from everyone else. They hold "counseling sessions" for things they consider bad . Sex addiction if you've had sex with more than one person, being gay, etc... They are all for "curing" you. This is a dangerous religion!
Again, sexual promiscuity, sex outside of marriage, and homosexuality are all behaviors that God does not desire. Be mad at God.
jrock

Columbus, OH

#531 Aug 26, 2013
Been there wrote:
We are a Catholic family and our oldest daughter was recruited to Xenos as a young teen several years ago. She was resisting going to mass at the time and a friend invited her to her home group. As previous posters mentioned, it was very friendly and fun for a few months, but then they started to criticize the way she dressed. That was followed by home group leaders explaining to her that "Catholics aren't spiritual; they don't know how to pray." She quit soon after that; it took less than 2 years for her to recognize how prejudiced and controlling they were.
And yes, the home group leaders were smoking at the meetings.
A warning to parents: Xenos recruits heavily in the suburban public schools. The motto in our house is , "Just say 'no' to
Xenos!"
Would you have liked it if she got involved with another non-Catholic group? FYI, Xenos doesn't recruit anyone, they tell people about the gospel, that we are saved by grace. And they invite people to come out and learn the bible. I know that is intimidating to Catholics.
ecc

Dublin, OH

#532 Sep 14, 2013
FKA Reader wrote:
<quoted text>

From Xenos I have heard both sides, but in only very limited extents. They do utilize a "cell" organization in which members are situated in worship groups that can be very all-encompassing. They have a website--you can read some of their stuff their.
This whole use of "cell" organization as damning evidence is just funny. Organized society is based on cell structures. It is a convenient method of organization and helps people to make a connection. Making a connection with people is a key aspect of any church. Schools are based on cell structure; Work groups are based on cell structures; Sports teams; chess clubs...

I have attended Xenos. I have also left Xenos and come back. No one stalks me, threatens me, does anything odd.

As far as any single individual's negative experience goes, I would have this to say-- it seems possible that one or more people could encounter a person or people within a large organization that make choices or say things that do not reflect the beliefs and teachings of the organization as a whole. I don't know if some of the people referenced in this chain had these experiences or not. Their experience, though regrettable, does not mean the entirety of Xenos believes a certain way. That said, it also seems possible that an individual's perception does not match reality. Perception varies so much based on who that person is, what is going on in their life at that moment, and a lot of other factors. People at work sometimes tell me their perception of a matter that does not match my perception of reality. Last, sometimes there are just misunderstandings that don't get cleared up. I couldn't say why these people had or claim to have had these experiences.

I can say this: I believe in the God of the Bible and that the Bible is correct and true. I believe that Xenos does their best to teach the message of the Bible. I believe that the message of the Bible is not well received in modern society. I believe that the people at Xenos are just people--sinners--that try to live the message of the Bible, but that screw up in many ways on a daily basis.

If (i) you do not believe the Bible is God's word,(ii) you expect not to be wronged by a person at Xenos,(iii) you shun the idea of organizing society into smaller groups for the purpose of achieving connection and progress,(iv) you are unwilling to find out first hand and would prefer to rely on internet chat posts filled with agenda-driven people, then you may conclude that Xenos is a cult. Best of luck to you and hope you find a fellowship that works for you (beware of cell groups! do not drink kool-aid in Sunday School!).

If you believe that the Bible is God's word and you are looking for a fellowship, Xenos is terrific. It is definitely different than other churches, but I think more relevant to modern society in so many ways. Make the judgment yourself. No one will follow you away from the church and demand your return if you don't like it.:)

It is not... a cult.
Anonymus

Grove City, OH

#533 Sep 17, 2013
Ironic

Your argument is full of fallacies to suit your own agenda. Yet you're attacking people for doing the same.
Allie Hicks

Westerville, OH

#534 Sep 17, 2013
Anonymous wrote:
Too all who said there is no such thing as vocal persecution: https://twitter.com/allierhicks/status/356657...
i'm famous lolz
Allie Hicks

Westerville, OH

#535 Sep 17, 2013
I am 17 years old, and was ex-communicated from the cult November 4th 2012. Someone put on here that I was an example of "vocal persecution" against Xenos, for stating my opinion against it. What about all those who persecuted me after I got "removed"? I've had members tweet, text, comment, call me calling me psycho, saying that I'm fucked up, etc. Where's the Christian in that? Where was the Christian when a leader, Scott Arter, brought me in front of my homechurch, Brooklyn, and voted me out? They preached grace, acceptance, forgiveness and whatnot, but where was that then? They pulled out Matthew 18:15-17, 15 “If your brother or sister[a] sins,[b] go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’[c] 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector." and used that to "remove" me. Okay, what about the other 28234389 verses in the Bible about grace? Those were not brought up. I was apart of Xenos for two years, they made it so that it was my life, and they voted me out the week I came back from the hospital from almost dying because of my suicide attempt, they told everyone not to talk to me either. I was left alone. They also used my attempted suicide as a reason as to why I should be removed, because (and quote) "it means she's still in the world and has worldly nature". That is beyond messed up. Personally, I hope Xenos falls apart, because it is fucked up.

If you have any questions or comments, reply. I have a lot to share.
Anonymous

Westerville, OH

#536 Sep 17, 2013
Allie Hicks wrote:
I am 17 years old, and was ex-communicated from the cult November 4th 2012. Someone put on here that I was an example of "vocal persecution" against Xenos, for stating my opinion against it. What about all those who persecuted me after I got "removed"? I've had members tweet, text, comment, call me calling me psycho, saying that I'm fucked up, etc. Where's the Christian in that? Where was the Christian when a leader, Scott Arter, brought me in front of my homechurch, Brooklyn, and voted me out? They preached grace, acceptance, forgiveness and whatnot, but where was that then? They pulled out Matthew 18:15-17, 15 “If your brother or sister[a] sins,[b] go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’[c] 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector." and used that to "remove" me. Okay, what about the other 28234389 verses in the Bible about grace? Those were not brought up. I was apart of Xenos for two years, they made it so that it was my life, and they voted me out the week I came back from the hospital from almost dying because of my suicide attempt, they told everyone not to talk to me either. I was left alone. They also used my attempted suicide as a reason as to why I should be removed, because (and quote) "it means she's still in the world and has worldly nature". That is beyond messed up. Personally, I hope Xenos falls apart, because it is fucked up.
If you have any questions or comments, reply. I have a lot to share.
That doesn't sound very Christian of you either.
Anon

Springboro, OH

#537 Sep 17, 2013
Seems to be very legalistic, nothing good comes from such a thing. We have precedents, and history that attest to falters of legalism. And ex communication seems yield more negativity and allow the devil to engulf bitterness in ones heart. Since when was one supposed to abide by strict laws under the grace of God and what Christ has done. While yes we must strive to carry out his will and follow him, we will slip up, we will screw up. We are supposed to help brothers and sister as if we fall, not leave them there. Love is the primitive nature of our heavenly father. Legalism has taken such away
"Not very christian of you" yes thaf statement kay seemingly be true, but its just evident of the kind of hurt and pain inflicted upon her. Its projection of her hurt, the anger placed upon Xenos. Its quite flawed to have the mannerisms of a church operate in such a manner, most certainly not aligned with the values the bible entails.
Anonymus

Grove City, OH

#538 Sep 17, 2013
Allie I'm just some random person on the Internet, but I am sorry for what you had to go through. I don't know the entirety of your situation, but the fact you thought of suicide made me hurt just reading. You look like a beautiful young lady in your twitter pic. I can't imagine the pain you went through. I applaud you for fighting and please don't ever give up believing in Christianity. There are some awful excuses for "Christians" in our world.
Allie Hicks

Wooster, OH

#539 Sep 18, 2013
Anonymous wrote:
<quoted text>
That doesn't sound very Christian of you either.
I actually am no longer a Christina, so I don't have to obide to any rules.
Allie Hicks

Wooster, OH

#540 Sep 18, 2013
Anon wrote:
Seems to be very legalistic, nothing good comes from such a thing. We have precedents, and history that attest to falters of legalism. And ex communication seems yield more negativity and allow the devil to engulf bitterness in ones heart. Since when was one supposed to abide by strict laws under the grace of God and what Christ has done. While yes we must strive to carry out his will and follow him, we will slip up, we will screw up. We are supposed to help brothers and sister as if we fall, not leave them there. Love is the primitive nature of our heavenly father. Legalism has taken such away
"Not very christian of you" yes thaf statement kay seemingly be true, but its just evident of the kind of hurt and pain inflicted upon her. Its projection of her hurt, the anger placed upon Xenos. Its quite flawed to have the mannerisms of a church operate in such a manner, most certainly not aligned with the values the bible entails.
Thank you
Allie Hicks

Wooster, OH

#541 Sep 18, 2013
Anonymus wrote:
Allie I'm just some random person on the Internet, but I am sorry for what you had to go through. I don't know the entirety of your situation, but the fact you thought of suicide made me hurt just reading. You look like a beautiful young lady in your twitter pic. I can't imagine the pain you went through. I applaud you for fighting and please don't ever give up believing in Christianity. There are some awful excuses for "Christians" in our world.
This means a lot to me, I have actually given up on Christianity because of Xenos.. But I will never stop fighting. They destroyed me.
Anonymus

Grove City, OH

#542 Sep 18, 2013
Allie Hicks wrote:
<quoted text>
This means a lot to me, I have actually given up on Christianity because of Xenos.. But I will never stop fighting. They destroyed me.
I'm sorry to hear that you'be lost your faith :(

There are a TON of other churches out in the world you could call home. I'd obviously reccomend mine, but it's in Grove City lol. I also don't want random strangers on here attacking it. If you'd ever be interested say it on here and I'll reach out to you on Twitter or something ok? You honestly wouldn't even have to come that much or at all. Just enough so you can heal your heart after what those bastards did to you and realize there are genuinely good caring Christians. Just do some googling and I hope you can find a church that supports your beliefs, but above all else will love and accept you like a church should. Just remember that you're a strong and independent woman that has overcome an awful experience in your life. Once again I'm so sorry for what you went through!:(
Confused

Columbus, OH

#543 Sep 26, 2013
Concerned Parent wrote:
My daughter began attending Xenos Christian Fellowship in Columbus Ohio after one of her friends at school invited her. The church service was called a 'Central Teaching', & at this meeting the members taught my daughter that Jewish people are sinners & that the holocaust did not take place! I am extremely disgusted with what this so called Christian church is teaching to young people under the guise of being a bible centered church. I am seeking legal counsel to find out what legal recourse I have. Have any of you had anything like this occur? Please post if you know anything about this church.
I find it hard to believe this. I'm in Xenos and I believe the holocaust happened and have nothing against Jews. Although they are sinners but so am I.

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