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Patty

Westerville, OH

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#586
Nov 14, 2013
 
I have attended Xenos for over 12 years. I've only experienced great biblical teachings and have been a part of a great group of normal, sinful, messed up people, just like the rest of the human race. We're not perfect and don't claim to be. We're just trying to learn God's word and how it applies to us. Xenos is just a building; people are the church. If you disagree, read your bible.
Questions

Columbus, OH

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#587
Nov 18, 2013
 
So guys, are there any legitimate stories about things going on in the ministry houses?
jim

Stow, OH

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#588
Nov 21, 2013
 

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Every person who listens to any teaching will take away from it what his or her previous experience allows him to understand.
In Xenos we often hear teachings that are edgy, deep, and can be hard to understand and easily misinterpreted by some who have little or no bible background. I think some of the most valuable and important tenets of our church include:
1. Fellowship and teaching in a variety of settings.
2. Critical independent study and investigation.
3. Prayer
4. Indwelling of the Holy Spirit for those who believe in Christ.
When I consider these elements together my conclusion is that Xenos promotes only truth. Not embellished truth, not following mindlessly. Furthermore, These varied methods and settings for studying foster greater understanding and ensure that lies and errors do not grow.
Not all who go to any church will work on their own to verify the teachings they hear; and inevitably some will misunderstand. But in my opinion and experience this fellowship has only loving intentions not only for it's members but for all. I have seen no use of individuals other than the encouragement to grow and stretch their ability to serve both inside the church and outside the church.
It make me sad to know so many people upon hearing God's truth want to claim there is evil intention driving it. What motivates people to hate the truth?
Karl

Columbus, OH

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#589
Nov 23, 2013
 

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FKA makes a valid distinction. I started attending Xenos back when it was known as Fishhouse. I was there for 7 years and the doctrine was thoroughly orthodox. There was a great sense of community and a sincere desire to love God in both intellectual and practical ways. However the immaturity of the Senior Pastor produced a very cult-like style.

Typical leadership behaviors passed down from the Senior Pastor to local homechurch leaders seen at Xenos between 1980-1987:

Manipulative

They never recognized the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing members as merely an instrument to be used. They dominate and humiliate their members.

Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt

Often when manipulation or humiliation didn't work the leaders would expose a deep-seated rage. They didn't appear to see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.

Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature

Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for leader and member. Many of the leaders believe they were entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others. The followers see them as near perfect.

Leadership meetings would involve being cussed out and humiliated by the head Pastor for "not hitting your !@#$ing growth numbers." Much time was devoted to gossip about members of the home groups under the guise of "planning their spiritual development".

In short, they exhibited many of the qualities of antisocial personality disorder (Sociopathy) stemming again from the one central extremely influential leader.

I left knowing much more about scripture, evangelism, discipleship and community (all orthodox)than when I joined. These things I learned were also, to be fare, probably a result of this same Senior Pastor (and for that I am grateful). I also left with a notebook labeled "Abusive Leadership" filled with hundreds of things that I swore I would never do as a leader of a local church.

disclaimer: I have no idea to what extent these behaviors have continued in the 26 years since I have left Xenos. The head pastor has no doubt matured but the DNA of dynamic leaders infects leadership in churches for generations.
FKA Reader wrote:
<quoted text>
kim, that's a fairly simplistic defintion.
I don't know if Xenos is a cult or not--only that there have been various allegations of cult-like behavior (cell organization, recruiting from young people away from home for the first time, "love bombing," urging separation from family and friends "outside") over time.
I don't know that there are absolutes when it comes to cultic behavior, more of a sliding scale of indicators. Frequently there are persons who later report that the did things on the inside that only made sense within the context of the cultic group.
Alex

Westerville, OH

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#590
Nov 23, 2013
 

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I attended Xenos from age 12-16 or so, until I was asked to leave.

When I started high school I had the self esteem of a rock, my idea of making myself beautiful was to quit eating, at this point I was still very involved in the church. Of course my friends (who also were Xenoids) began noticing that at lunch I wasn't eating. However, nobody said a thing.
A year later I told my discipler, a girl in college I studied the bible with weekly, and she said I just needed to stop.
If you know anything about eating disorders you'll understand that stopping what I was doing cold turkey wasn't going to work especially because of how long I had been not eating the right way.
After this my homechurch had a secret meeting discussing how if they noticed I wasn't eating they were to tell the homechurch leaders.
I tried to just start eating again.
It didn't work. I continued not eating. My "friends" noticed. They told.

A few weeks after I had told my discipler what was going on, at cell group (where only the girls from homechurch meet) there was a strange vibe when I walked in. Almost awkward.
When I sat down I was given a long talking to by the leaders then, I received an ultimatum either I started being "normal" or I could leave.
My heart was shattered as I looked around to the girls I thought were my best friends: nobody looked up, nobody said a word. I tried to explain how hard it was to just stop so spontaneously I was told the image of the church was being tarnished because of me.
I was then asked to go home.

Now I am strong and healthy. No thanks to my "sisters in Christ". I am now able to see all of the strange things they told me God wouldn't appreciate me doing.

For example:
Don't date outside the church
Make friends with people only to bring them out to group.
If someone leaves group don't give them the time of day
Christianity is te only correct religion to believe in

I'm not saying Xenos is a cult, but I can tell you Xenos isn't a church.

Churches help people through hardships.
None

Columbus, OH

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#592
Nov 27, 2013
 

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Doesn't Xenos have a lawsuit against them currently?
Suggestion

Columbus, OH

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#593
Nov 27, 2013
 

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I think all Ministers, Pastors, and Priests should have a professional license by the state. If they don't comply with professional standards, they should get their license revoked. Seminaries need to teach these people ETHICS!

Since: Nov 13

Columbus, OH

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#594
Nov 27, 2013
 
Anonymous wrote:
Regarding Kwesi- I heard from a Xenos member at the service at Holden that they had raised over ten grand for travel and funeral cost. I'm curious if the family received that money. As for taking responsibility, Xenos never will. I know of countless dangerous inappropriate things that go down on those beach trips and yet the church continues to go there. Now because of lack of responsibility on the church and on individuals parts, this kid is dead. It was only a matter of time. No wonder Xenos is all over the press "remembering Kwesi" and "supporting the family." Must CYA.
Would you mind messaging me, anonymous? I am not affiliated with the church, but a concerned parent. I don't want to post my phone number on here, but would love to speak with you please. Thank you.
Factsforyou

Columbus, OH

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#595
Nov 27, 2013
 
I won't speak on most of it, but will say this. Kwesi's grandmother DID NOT attend the service. She was not going to attend a memorial for her grandson while his body was still under the water. And the group did not continue the retreat for the sake of waiting for his body to surface. Remember, his body surfaced on Sunday morning. NO ONE from the church stayed back to support his grandmother while waiting for him to surface. Maybe they went down and prayed with her...nope didn't happen either.

And again, while speaking of those hurting, let's start with his family, which I see you failed to mention. His mother who is left empty of her first born. His father who has to work to stay strong for her. His younger twin brother and sister who still struggle with losing their big brother. Or his other siblings, and niece and nephews. Or his aunts and uncles. Because his family will forever live with the loss of losing him.
CAT wrote:
<quoted text>
Wow – I don’t know how you got your information, but you’ve received some bad information. Kwesi told a young girl on the trip that he was not a good swimmer. He thought he was safe on a sandbar, but the current at the mouth of that river is very strong. Actually, the strongest swimmer dove after him and searched for him and the other boys went to shore to call the coast guard, which arrived in a couple minutes, as there is a coast guard station in that area. There were only a couple people with Kwesi and the other boy who dove for him. And the rest were not strong swimmers either. Which is why they were wading on a sandbar.
The next day, Wednesday, there was a service for Kwesi. More than 1500 people attended, this includes his Grandma. Everyone there was heartbroken. I was chatting with a guest that was on the trip and she said it was so sad because she had never seen that many people in one place sobbing. The pastor who you are referring to, was beside himself. He and everyone else was devastated.
And of course the group stayed on the retreat. How awful would that feel if you were to leave, and later feel like you’ve left a friend behind, and left him alone. I know they struggled with the decision to stay, but ultimately, it would have been worse to leave. If they would have left, by how I see that you rationalize, I think you would also criticize them for leaving him behind.
And people did talk to his Grandmother. And for those who didn’t: to that I’d say that for the most part, this group was comprised of teenagers and young adults. In situations like this, you lose your words and sometimes you just don’t know what to say. People there were stunned and they can only imagine a fraction of what his Grandmother is suffering. Those people wanted nothing more than comfort for the family. That is half the anguish: knowing that the family is about to go through hell.
And I’m not sure what you mean by his so called girlfriend. She is a very sweet and timid girl who lost someone she loved. She has a broken heart. She lost a gem of a boy. And you have no way of knowing how much she has or has not cried. She has cried – and she has cried a lot – being that she’s lost someone she loved. I am curious why your remarks are so hateful? That is probably the strangest and creepiest thing I have heard anyone assert; that no one was allowed to show their emotions.
This was no one’s fault. It was a terrible situation. People are crushed. Death is horrible and confusing – especially when it happens to someone like Kwesi. It doesn’t make sense. But it was no one’s fault.
Duke for Mayor

Akron, OH

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#596
Nov 27, 2013
 

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Suggestion wrote:
I think all Ministers, Pastors, and Priests should have a professional license by the state. If they don't comply with professional standards, they should get their license revoked. Seminaries need to teach these people ETHICS!
Here's a suggestion that is much simpler, and doesn't run afoul of the US Constitution:

Leave the Church, and never go back to another one for the duration of your time on the planet.

woof
Huh

Columbus, OH

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#597
Nov 27, 2013
 

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Duke for Mayor wrote:
<quoted text>
Here's a suggestion that is much simpler, and doesn't run afoul of the US Constitution:
Leave the Church, and never go back to another one for the duration of your time on the planet.
woof
Are you a Zenoid? You smell like one.
Curious George

Columbus, OH

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#598
Nov 27, 2013
 
Who here donates money to Xenos? Have you seen an audited financial statement from that place? Where does the money go? Which individuals on their staff drive luxury cars and live in mansions?
Fido

Columbus, OH

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#599
Nov 27, 2013
 

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Duke for Mayor wrote:
<quoted text>
Here's a suggestion that is much simpler, and doesn't run afoul of the US Constitution:
Leave the Church, and never go back to another one for the duration of your time on the planet.
woof
Duke for Mayor of Uranus?
Check This Out

Columbus, OH

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#600
Nov 27, 2013
 
Duke for Mayor

Akron, OH

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#601
Nov 28, 2013
 

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Huh wrote:
<quoted text>
Are you a Zenoid? You smell like one.
No.

But I can never understand why people flock to religion, get fleeced, than go right back and flock again.

A reasonable person would learn after the first time or two.

woof
Shawshank Redemption

Columbus, OH

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#602
Nov 28, 2013
 

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Duke for Mayor wrote:
<quoted text>
No.
But I can never understand why people flock to religion, get fleeced, than go right back and flock again.
A reasonable person would learn after the first time or two.
woof
"First you hate it, then you get use to it, enough time goes by you learn to depend on it. That's institutionalized!"
Oliver Canterberry

Columbus, OH

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#603
Nov 29, 2013
 
Karl wrote:
FKA makes a valid distinction. I started attending Xenos back when it was known as Fishhouse. I was there for 7 years and the doctrine was thoroughly orthodox. There was a great sense of community and a sincere desire to love God in both intellectual and practical ways. However the immaturity of the Senior Pastor produced a very cult-like style.
Typical leadership behaviors passed down from the Senior Pastor to local homechurch leaders seen at Xenos between 1980-1987:
Manipulative
They never recognized the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing members as merely an instrument to be used. They dominate and humiliate their members.
Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
Often when manipulation or humiliation didn't work the leaders would expose a deep-seated rage. They didn't appear to see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.
Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature
Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for leader and member. Many of the leaders believe they were entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others. The followers see them as near perfect.
Leadership meetings would involve being cussed out and humiliated by the head Pastor for "not hitting your !@#$ing growth numbers." Much time was devoted to gossip about members of the home groups under the guise of "planning their spiritual development".
In short, they exhibited many of the qualities of antisocial personality disorder (Sociopathy) stemming again from the one central extremely influential leader.
I left knowing much more about scripture, evangelism, discipleship and community (all orthodox)than when I joined. These things I learned were also, to be fare, probably a result of this same Senior Pastor (and for that I am grateful). I also left with a notebook labeled "Abusive Leadership" filled with hundreds of things that I swore I would never do as a leader of a local church.
disclaimer: I have no idea to what extent these behaviors have continued in the 26 years since I have left Xenos. The head pastor has no doubt matured but the DNA of dynamic leaders infects leadership in churches for generations.
<quoted text>
Spot on Karl.

This is the best post I've seen and it correlates with my experience. I was there 41/2 years but left in the early 80's. My experience was that it was fine while named Fish House but something changed then slowly got worse, when they renamed themselves Xenos.

My hunch is whomever was the driving force behind the name change is the source of the issues you describe so well.

Since: Nov 13

Columbus, OH

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#604
Nov 29, 2013
 

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As a concerned parent, I would love to speak with you. Please message me so that I can give you my contact information. Thank you so much for the information!
Karl wrote:
FKA makes a valid distinction. I started attending Xenos back when it was known as Fishhouse. I was there for 7 years and the doctrine was thoroughly orthodox. There was a great sense of community and a sincere desire to love God in both intellectual and practical ways. However the immaturity of the Senior Pastor produced a very cult-like style.
Typical leadership behaviors passed down from the Senior Pastor to local homechurch leaders seen at Xenos between 1980-1987:
Manipulative
They never recognized the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing members as merely an instrument to be used. They dominate and humiliate their members.
Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
Often when manipulation or humiliation didn't work the leaders would expose a deep-seated rage. They didn't appear to see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.
Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature
Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for leader and member. Many of the leaders believe they were entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others. The followers see them as near perfect.
Leadership meetings would involve being cussed out and humiliated by the head Pastor for "not hitting your !@#$ing growth numbers." Much time was devoted to gossip about members of the home groups under the guise of "planning their spiritual development".
In short, they exhibited many of the qualities of antisocial personality disorder (Sociopathy) stemming again from the one central extremely influential leader.
I left knowing much more about scripture, evangelism, discipleship and community (all orthodox)than when I joined. These things I learned were also, to be fare, probably a result of this same Senior Pastor (and for that I am grateful). I also left with a notebook labeled "Abusive Leadership" filled with hundreds of things that I swore I would never do as a leader of a local church.
disclaimer: I have no idea to what extent these behaviors have continued in the 26 years since I have left Xenos. The head pastor has no doubt matured but the DNA of dynamic leaders infects leadership in churches for generations.
<quoted text>

Since: Nov 13

United States

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#605
Nov 30, 2013
 

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Christianity on a whole is a cult. Just like all the Abrahamic religions.
Revolving Door

Columbus, OH

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#606
Dec 1, 2013
 

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Why does history always repeat itself? Do anyone remember Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple?

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