Former Member

Hilliard, OH

#544 Sep 30, 2013
I'm so sorry Allie. As a former member, I am familiar with the excommunication process and how they "ice" the people they kick out. I'm ashamed to say I once treated people in that matter. Since you are a teenager, I am not surprised you were quickly removed after a suicide attempt. That would be bad PR for them. Please don't let what they did change your opinion of God. He is gracious and loving and cares for ALL people - including you. Unlike members of Xenos, He won't turn his back on people who are broken and in need. I no longer attend that church and am aware as a former member that they do not care what I say. I really don't care because they aren't God. Also, there's a TON of people out there who do not like Xenos for similar reason. You aren't alone.
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.
ABC

Dublin, OH

#545 Oct 5, 2013
I attended Xenos for 12 years and made a decision to leave on my own. I was as deeply involved as you can possibly be. Just like ANY church or organization, there are always going to be positives and negatives. Xenos members will be the first to say that everyone is a sinner, so we are all going to make mistakes. I left because of poor leadership at the small group level. After having attended for 12 years, I had witnessed too many situations in the small groups where poor leadership has resulted in people being unnecessarily hurt. But, poor leadership DOES NOT make a church or an organization a cult. Poor leadership exists everywhere in society. When you are part of a team at work, school, or church with poor leadership, there will be times when the decisions affect you.
As far as the accusations of "love bombing", I would have to agree that the "love" shown to a new person may seem a bit overwhelming. And, as you become more involved at the church, the initial love you felt may begin to feel different. Most people are not used to having increased responsibility at church as they learn new things. At Xenos, they believe that you are growing (or should be growing) as you learn more biblical truth. As you grow, you are held more accountable for the truth you know. This is not cultish behavior. This is biblical AND it is also how life works everywhere! The more you learn at work, school, and in society, the more you are held accountable for using that knowledge correctly.
As someone gets more involved with church activities, they will often make decisions not to participate in other activities in their life. Some of the younger, and less mature, leaders (along with peers) may try to encourage their friends to come to more meetings or activities and to give up some of their other commitments. This is where their excitement can sometimes be misplaced. Many people at Xenos make the mistake of over-committing their schedule. Before you know it, your schedule is full of activities and you have to make decisions on how to make room in your evenings and weekends. Some of the poorly trained leaders, or even just excited friends, might over encourage someone to attend various meetings and activities. That person might feel "guilty" for having to say no or for missing a meeting. In the beginning, most of the intentions are good. People are just naturally excited to make new friends. But as time passes, sometimes people are judged negatively for missing a meeting or not being as involved as others are. But, once again, this is life. You are judged at work, school, in your group of friends, and at ANY church based on the perceived level of commitment you bring. It doesn't make a place a cult.
As I've mentioned before, since Xenos has many small groups, they struggle to have all groups lead by mature and sound leaders. They try to teach their leaders with formal classes, but (unfortunately) they often place people in leadership roles based on their zeal and their ability to attend a lot of the activities, not necessarily based on their true leadership abilities.
If you truly care about your children's or friend's activities, go and check them out! Yes, I am suggesting that you go and check out Xenos for yourselves. If you are going to try and judge from a distance, you are going to make ill informed decisions. As someone who attended for 12 years, and as someone who studies the bible intensely, I can confidently say that Xenos is just seeking to follow certain biblical concepts as closely as possible. Their greatest fault is that some small groups (which are considered very important) have issues with spiritually immature leaders, and their overall excitement can sometimes lead to an environment where grace is trumped by their perception of your commitment.
Hope this helps.
Wait what

Dublin, OH

#546 Oct 5, 2013
ABC wrote:
I attended Xenos for 12 years and made a decision to leave on my own. I was as deeply involved as you can possibly be. Just like ANY church or organization, there are always going to be positives and negatives. Xenos members will be the first to say that everyone is a sinner, so we are all going to make mistakes. I left because of poor leadership at the small group level. After having attended for 12 years, I had witnessed too many situations in the small groups where poor leadership has resulted in people being unnecessarily hurt. But, poor leadership DOES NOT make a church or an organization a cult. Poor leadership exists everywhere in society. When you are part of a team at work, school, or church with poor leadership, there will be times when the decisions affect you.
As far as the accusations of "love bombing", I would have to agree that the "love" shown to a new person may seem a bit overwhelming. And, as you become more involved at the church, the initial love you felt may begin to feel different. Most people are not used to having increased responsibility at church as they learn new things. At Xenos, they believe that you are growing (or should be growing) as you learn more biblical truth. As you grow, you are held more accountable for the truth you know. This is not cultish behavior. This is biblical AND it is also how life works everywhere! The more you learn at work, school, and in society, the more you are held accountable for using that knowledge correctly.
As someone gets more involved with church activities, they will often make decisions not to participate in other activities in their life. Some of the younger, and less mature, leaders (along with peers) may try to encourage their friends to come to more meetings or activities and to give up some of their other commitments. This is where their excitement can sometimes be misplaced. Many people at Xenos make the mistake of over-committing their schedule. Before you know it, your schedule is full of activities and you have to make decisions on how to make room in your evenings and weekends. Some of the poorly trained leaders, or even just excited friends, might over encourage someone to attend various meetings and activities. That person might feel "guilty" for having to say no or for missing a meeting. In the beginning, most of the intentions are good. People are just naturally excited to make new friends. But as time passes, sometimes people are judged negatively for missing a meeting or not being as involved as others are. But, once again, this is life. You are judged at work, school, in your group of friends, and at ANY church based on the perceived level of commitment you bring. It doesn't make a place a cult.
As I've mentioned before, since Xenos has many small groups, they struggle to have all groups lead by mature and sound leaders. They try to teach their leaders with formal classes, but (unfortunately) they often place people in leadership roles based on their zeal and their ability to attend a lot of the activities, not necessarily based on their true leadership abilities.
If you truly care about your children's or friend's activities, go and check them out! Yes, I am suggesting that you go and check out Xenos for yourselves. If you are going to try and judge from a distance, you are going to make ill informed decisions. As someone who attended for 12 years, and as someone who studies the bible intensely, I can confidently say that Xenos is just seeking to follow certain biblical concepts as closely as possible. Their greatest fault is that some small groups (which are considered very important) have issues with spiritually immature leaders, and their overall excitement can sometimes lead to an environment where grace is trumped by their perception of your commitment.
Hope this helps.
You left it, but excuse bad behaviors and recommend others go? You kind of proved that if not a cult, it most certainly gets into your head.
ABC

Dublin, OH

#547 Oct 6, 2013
Wait what wrote:
<quoted text>
You left it, but excuse bad behaviors and recommend others go? You kind of proved that if not a cult, it most certainly gets into your head.
I recommend that a concerned parent / friend should check out their children's / friend's activity rather than trying to judge it from a distance. If that means getting off of the couch / computer and actually going to hear one if their services, then do it. If they are so savvy about identifying cults, what are they afraid of?

As far as 'getting into your head,' I left because I didn't like my experiences with immature leaders in small groups. Small groups are considered an essential part of the church. I moved from the college age group (where I expected some immaturity) to the adult age group. After a few years in the adult groups, I came to realize that the issue if immaturity was also present in the adult small group leadership. Leaders were not always being selected for the best reasons (see my previous post). I had to decide if I wanted this level of immaturity in my life at this stage in my life. Yes, I had to use my 'head'/'brain' to make this decision. I wouldn't call this 'getting into my head.' My point is that we can make decisions without turning it into extremism. For example...I don't have to make up accusations to justify my decision. If I don't like something, I don't have to deal with it. I leave a restaraunt because of poor service. I don't call the news and say that they are serving dog as meat. I leave a job because I want a different work environment. I don't make up a lie about harassment. I change my major at school because I don't like it. I don't lie to people and say they cancelled my original program. The point is that we don't have to like everything, including how a church is organized, but we should be mature enough to avoid lying or name calling to justify our decision. Calling a place a cult just because we don't like it is like a brother calling a sister "poopy face" because she took his toy. This is the adult version of name calling. As an adult, you are allowed to not like something. And you can decide that you don't like something without making up extreme reasons so that you 'win' people over. Hope this helps. I encourage people to not like Xenos if they don't want to like it, but I also encourage them to be real about the reasons they don't like it.
Good Forum

Logan, OH

#548 Oct 6, 2013
I do know for a fact that they raise money for church trips...etc by having keg parties & charging admission. but the parties are held at their "Plants" where the young members live off site.
Leon Benbo

Manchester Township, NJ

#549 Oct 6, 2013
are the womens taught to be submissive? do they recruit lots of young ones?
Wait what

Dublin, OH

#550 Oct 6, 2013
ABC wrote:
<quoted text>
I recommend that a concerned parent / friend should check out their children's / friend's activity rather than trying to judge it from a distance. If that means getting off of the couch / computer and actually going to hear one if their services, then do it.
Ummmm...I did, and unfortunately it left me with a bad taste. I disagree about the teaching of the Holocaust, but agree with everything else. There are many paths; unfortunately, not only will Xenos not acknowledge that but they won't acknowledge other Christian paths. I also have issues with medical depression being dismissed. The fact of the matter is, we are humans with human emotions and human reactions and human malfunctions of the scientific kind. And honestly, if you tell people that it doesn't matter who they vote for because God is in charge while you continually watch this country go downhill, I don't know how you can save face.(To be fair, this is not exclusive to Xenos.)

As to my personal story, Topix is not the place. I'm not going to chase down anyone who goes there, but I certainly wouldn't recommend the place. At first I gave bonus points for the socialization aspect but I quickly realized the only socialization is for those who think alike and there is no room for those who think otherwise. God's Word has been often translated by man, and historians are full of theories. Closed-minded Christians are just as bad as closed-minded atheists.
Wait what

Dublin, OH

#551 Oct 6, 2013
"They" meaning those who extended invitations, came over to visit, provided transportation to events, etc. This is my opinion based on those I was in contact with. Your mileage may vary.

“animis opibusque parati”

Since: Oct 12

Location hidden

#552 Oct 6, 2013
Xenos sucks.
Put this thread to bed.
Wait what

Dublin, OH

#553 Oct 6, 2013
Random Churchgoer

Columbus, OH

#554 Oct 11, 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 have been to Xenos multiple times, and can assure you that no such thing has ever been taught. Denying the Holocaust is about as foolish as denying that the sky is blue...and not only does Xenos preach that Jews are sinners, but that all people are sinners - a basic facet of Biblical teaching. It sounds like you need to attend yourself before trying to convince others with inaccurate information that Xenos is a cult.
Have you been involved

Columbus, OH

#555 Oct 18, 2013
HELLO!
My name is Grace and I'm currently making a documentary on xenos and the people it affects. I know this forum is a tad old so I wouldn't be surprised if no one reads this but on the off chance someone is still checking up on this thing, I'm reaching out for help from the community. If you yourself have been involved in Xenos, or currently live in a Xenos house then I would love to get in touch with you and record your story! I know there are some concerned parents on here as well. If you have any information that might be helpful then please send an email to gpritch2@gmail.com. I check it daily and will respond as soon as possible! Thanks so much for your help!
Have you been involved

Columbus, OH

#556 Oct 18, 2013
Former Member wrote:
<quoted text> 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.
I'd love to talk to you more about this if you're interested! Please email gpritch2@gmail.com
Have you been involved

Columbus, OH

#557 Oct 18, 2013
Former Member wrote:
<quoted text> 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.
You are someone else I'd be really interested in contacting! Please email gpritch2@gmail.com
Have you been involved

Columbus, OH

#558 Oct 18, 2013
Former Member wrote:
<quoted text> Dear concerned parent, I was once a member of this group for nearly 2 years. Upon your initial visit with one of this "church's" many bible groups the members show you more love and acceptance than a young college student has ever felt before. That I think is what initially draws most of these college kids in like it did to me. However; the longer you are actively attending this church, the higher their expectations are of you. I think that this is okay to an extent because Christ teaches us that we should, but the way this group handled my situation and several others is completely wrong. They would tell me that I shouldn't go out of state for school to peruse my dreams because I had a role to play in the church, steered me away from living my dream of becoming a musician because "I wasn't going to glorify God" by doing that, tried to convince me to reduce my hours at work to devote more time to fellowship, sell my car to devote more money to the church, etc. as a young adult we all are interested in the dating world and gaining more and more experience until we eventually find someone we want to be with for the rest of our lives. I was dating a girl (not a member of the group) and after a period of time we began doing things that every 18-21 year old couples do. The church caught wind that we were being sexually intimate and brought this up to me. Over the course of time I began being more and more judged and shunned from the group until eventually they told me we were going to have a "meeting." At this meeting my group leader told the ENTIRE group about the situation. Not just the leaders, but the entire 30-35 college students that were in my specific bible study group. I was ostracized in front of every one of my peers. And like an episode of Survivor I was voted off the island. The leader asked the question "do you guys think he has truly repented of his sins?" And everybody but 2 people raised their hands no and I was asked to never contact of show up to the church again. The fact that I lost nearly 30 friends over something that they should have never involved themselves with is unbelievably cruel and messed with my head for a long time. I would never want somebody to go through the emotions and drama that I went through during that period. I find it ironic that a group who preaches love and compassion to be so judgemental toward a group member. This is a cult not a church. I want to help share my experience and spread concern about this group because it will take an emotional and physical toll on you because of the commitments they ask from you. Hopefully this information has helped you and if you have any questions I would be happy to answer. Thank you for sharing.
Please, please get ahold of me about this! gpritch2@gmail.com
jrock

Columbus, OH

#559 Oct 18, 2013
Wait what wrote:
<quoted text>
Ummmm...I did, and unfortunately it left me with a bad taste. I disagree about the teaching of the Holocaust, but agree with everything else. There are many paths; unfortunately, not only will Xenos not acknowledge that but they won't acknowledge other Christian paths. I also have issues with medical depression being dismissed. The fact of the matter is, we are humans with human emotions and human reactions and human malfunctions of the scientific kind. And honestly, if you tell people that it doesn't matter who they vote for because God is in charge while you continually watch this country go downhill, I don't know how you can save face.(To be fair, this is not exclusive to Xenos.)
As to my personal story, Topix is not the place. I'm not going to chase down anyone who goes there, but I certainly wouldn't recommend the place. At first I gave bonus points for the socialization aspect but I quickly realized the only socialization is for those who think alike and there is no room for those who think otherwise. God's Word has been often translated by man, and historians are full of theories. Closed-minded Christians are just as bad as closed-minded atheists.
No, there are not many paths, that's biblical, not Xenos. One God, one Christ, one salvation by grace, and grace alone. Other Christian churches? Yes. Other ways to God? No. Not according to scripture. That goes for any "church." So, yes, "Xenos" believes there is only one way to God, through Christ. That doesn't make them (us) cultic, it makes is "believers."
jrock

Columbus, OH

#560 Oct 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.
I have been going to Xenos for 25 years and I can tell you that it is far from legalistic. That doesn't mean that people have not made mistakes but I am sure there is more to this young lady's story than meets the eye.
jrock

Columbus, OH

#561 Oct 18, 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.
Allie, I feel for your struggle and I'm sure that those "kids" made mistakes....like kids do. And I'm sorry that they were not more compassionate about your situation. But, can you please share exactly why those people wanted to ask you to leave Xenos? Normally, that kind of thing is only done for a major offense, and usually you get several chances. It is biblical to remove somebody for certain reasons. Did you attempt suicide because you were asked to leave, or are there other things going on? Normally people are not asked to leave unless they are unrepentant and involved in serious sin. Can you help me understand exactly why you were asked to leave? And yes, I am a member of Xenos but I don't think I'm "f*#*ed up" any more than anybody else or any more than any of my many friends in Xenos. One last thing: those who "persecuted" you are immature kids, just like you are. Kids do stupid things,and kids (like adults) don't always know how to show grace to others. I'm sure they did those things you stated, not because they are in Xenos, but because they are kids, they are messed up, sinful people, and they need God as well. You may not want to hear this, but you should forgive them.
swans

Columbus, OH

#562 Oct 20, 2013
GOD must he laughing at all of you silly humans arguing over something that wont mean a thing in the long tun!
Anonymous

Westerville, OH

#563 Oct 23, 2013
If your minor child has been brainwashed by Xenos Christian (sic) Fellowship and turned against his or her family, this topic will never die.

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