Xenos Christian Fellowship is a CULT!

Since: Nov 13

Oceanside, CA

#609 Dec 2, 2013
Because Rome had their armies scattered all over the place and all these wars were over the subject of religion, what the Council of Nicea decided to do is essentially create a "State Religion".

So, what they did was combine the religions of the east and the west, both of which were concerned with Sun worship. Those in the West worshipped Hesos, also called Hess. Those in the East that worshipped the Sun worshipped Krishna, which in Greek is called Kristos. The very first "Bible" that was put together in 325AD.

They took some books that Apollonius of Tyana had brought back from Burma, called the Codes of the Initiates (which concerned themselves with man's relationship to the seasons, among other things) containing lessons that were handed down to those particular Holy Men in India during that particular period in history. The Codes of the Initiates allegedly contained words that were spoken by Krishna. The very first "Bible" was called the Helios Biblios, which means "The Sun Book". This is what they did in the very beginning.

Between 324 and 355 AD, by the Council of Nicea under Emperor Constantine The Great. Then they slowly developed a "God", a personage, to replace the Sun, and slowly changed the books, disposing of the material detailing reincarnation and many of the other teachings. They changed meanings, and every scribe that worked on this thing kept changing things as belief systems were revised with the prevailing times.

Since: Nov 13

Oceanside, CA

#610 Dec 2, 2013
wiseAfricanAmerican wrote:
The three' wise men' and the star of Bethlehem are suns (son) that the Judeo/ Christian religion is based on...Sun worship, ie the bright and morning star, the Son(sun) of man, the angel of light (Lucifer), the star that fell from heaven, the moon beneath her feet (Revelation) etc.
http://www.redicecreations.com/specialreports...
Great point and I will further add:

The sun’s “birth” is attended by the “bright Star,” either Sirius/Sothis or the planet Venus, and by the “Three Kings,” representing the three stars in the belt of Orion.

Since: Nov 13

Location hidden

#611 Dec 3, 2013
Anonymous

Hilliard, OH

#612 Dec 3, 2013
None wrote:
Doesn't Xenos have a lawsuit against them currently?
Would love to hear about that if you have details, as a parent whose minor child was recruited by Xenos, against my wishes.
Concerned

Delaware, OH

#613 Dec 5, 2013
Anonymous wrote:
<quoted text>
Would love to hear about that if you have details, as a parent whose minor child was recruited by Xenos, against my wishes.
I am interested as we'll ... My son was recruited also ! Would love to be in on this
Psychology

Columbus, OH

#614 Dec 6, 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>
Interesting, what you wrote. They never do things alone. They get people together and gang up on you or bully you into submission.
Psychology

Columbus, OH

#615 Dec 6, 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>
The best thing you can do is leave. You don't have to take the abuse. It's like being in a relationship, if your partner verbally or physically assaults you, you don't have to take it. You can leave the relationship. The grass is really greener on the other side.
Anonymous

Hilliard, OH

#616 Dec 6, 2013
Does anyone know of a current lawsuit against Xenos?
Wisen Hymer

Romulus, MI

#617 Dec 8, 2013
is this one of them churches where u can convince the young girls to drop their drawers for the lord? that's MY kind of religion!

Since: Dec 13

Columbus, OH

#618 Dec 10, 2013
Alex,

Glad to hear you have left Xenos. Your story has been all too common for the last 30 years and continues today. Good news is that you probably received a biblical foundation you can build on as you mature in Christ. The other good news is that you will actually mature in Christ rather than learn the art of gossip and manipulation that passes for maturity at Xenos. Bottom line is that Xenos promotes ministry house and homegroup leaders based on biblical knowledge, coursework and attendance in central, home and cell groups. Oh...as well as complete unquestioning allegiance to all levels of leadership. The result is some of the least mature leaders in evangelic church movement in Columbus (and that is saying something).

Although Xenos historically teaches Garry Friesen's Decision Making and the Will of God. A view that God often does not have a specific "dot" that represents his particular will on a particular subject. Xenos leaders continually violate their own teaching with statements like "it is God's will that you do X" or "that you convince so and so to join the Homegroup" of "go to OSU instead of another college where they are less likely to find a Christian group like Xenos." They authorize this view when they threaten to kick people out of their home, ministry or cell group if they don't obey their every whim. This type of hypocrisy is common and a function of immaturity, ignorance and arrogance that pervades throughout Xenos.

Good luck with your journey and
Alex wrote:
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.

Since: Dec 13

Columbus, OH

#619 Dec 10, 2013
LOL wisen. Xenos is probably not the place for you. While they historically have had a large college-aged female population in attendance (and why I joined while I was in college) the behavior described below is discouraged.
Wisen Hymer wrote:
is this one of them churches where u can convince the young girls to drop their drawers for the lord? that's MY kind of religion!
Curious

Columbus, OH

#620 Dec 10, 2013
Does Xenos accept all denominations? Do they accept Mormons?
Redemption

Columbus, OH

#621 Dec 10, 2013
ubergenius wrote:
Alex,
Glad to hear you have left Xenos. Your story has been all too common for the last 30 years and continues today. Good news is that you probably received a biblical foundation you can build on as you mature in Christ. The other good news is that you will actually mature in Christ rather than learn the art of gossip and manipulation that passes for maturity at Xenos. Bottom line is that Xenos promotes ministry house and homegroup leaders based on biblical knowledge, coursework and attendance in central, home and cell groups. Oh...as well as complete unquestioning allegiance to all levels of leadership. The result is some of the least mature leaders in evangelic church movement in Columbus (and that is saying something).
Although Xenos historically teaches Garry Friesen's Decision Making and the Will of God. A view that God often does not have a specific "dot" that represents his particular will on a particular subject. Xenos leaders continually violate their own teaching with statements like "it is God's will that you do X" or "that you convince so and so to join the Homegroup" of "go to OSU instead of another college where they are less likely to find a Christian group like Xenos." They authorize this view when they threaten to kick people out of their home, ministry or cell group if they don't obey their every whim. This type of hypocrisy is common and a function of immaturity, ignorance and arrogance that pervades throughout Xenos.
Good luck with your journey and
<quoted text>
How do they hold their leaders accountable? The more people they manipulate people, they more they get high 5's?

Since: Dec 13

Columbus, OH

#622 Dec 11, 2013
When Senior Pastors are unchecked or fill their church boards with "Yes" men, the result is always the same. A cancer develops and replicates throughout the church leadership.

I will tell you that the Xenos Senior Pastor did whatever he wanted unchecked in the 70s and 80s. As people started to leave en masse in the mid-90s it seems that his ability to reign unchecked was reduced.

But have you ever been to World Harvest? Talk about cultic. No one even approaches Rod Parsley. It is a scary place.

Behind many evangelical pastors in Columbus you will find a similar broken leader that can't wait to be your spiritual daddy. The best are good at faking transparency but most are paternalistic and talk down to their members rather than facilitating their growth. Anyone grow up with an abusive, controlling parent? Welcome to many non-denominational churchs in Cols.

Xenos Accountability: Historically Ministry house leaders and Cell Group leaders are accountable to Homegroup leaders, who are accountable to Sphere group leaders, who are accountable to the Elders, who to the pastors, who in some ways are accountable to the elders and in some way not accountable although they would deny my last statement. Problem here is not as much a matter of lack of accountability as it is the idea that meddling in peoples lives for Jesus is a legitimate calling.

Think of the arrogance of telling people who they should date, what functions they should attend, where they should go to college. Now one can say "the bible greatly discourages a Christian from marrying someone who is not a Christian." That is however, not what anyone is referring to when they talk about Xenos. I was routinely questioned by all levels of leadership as to the belief system of girls I would date. I was told in one week by now less that Cell group, 2 homegroup, and one sphere group leader that I should break up with some girl I had just started dating (well to be fair she was Catholic). BTW I'm not trying to be derogatory to Catholics but rather represent the Xenos culture in the 1980s. Think about the level of gossip required for 4 individuals to approach me about the same topic that was not a sin or destructive in any way ( I had not even kissed the girl yet...LOL).

Think of the abbey in the movie Sound of Music and recall the song "How do you solve a problem like Maria?" A bunch of women gossiping about peoples personal lives and you will get the picture. It has been that way since the mid-seventies at least.
Redemption wrote:
<quoted text>
How do they hold their leaders accountable? The more people they manipulate people, they more they get high 5's?
Buckz

Columbus, OH

#623 Dec 11, 2013
ubergenius wrote:
When Senior Pastors are unchecked or fill their church boards with "Yes" men, the result is always the same. A cancer develops and replicates throughout the church leadership.
I will tell you that the Xenos Senior Pastor did whatever he wanted unchecked in the 70s and 80s. As people started to leave en masse in the mid-90s it seems that his ability to reign unchecked was reduced.
But have you ever been to World Harvest? Talk about cultic. No one even approaches Rod Parsley. It is a scary place.
Behind many evangelical pastors in Columbus you will find a similar broken leader that can't wait to be your spiritual daddy. The best are good at faking transparency but most are paternalistic and talk down to their members rather than facilitating their growth. Anyone grow up with an abusive, controlling parent? Welcome to many non-denominational churchs in Cols.
Xenos Accountability: Historically Ministry house leaders and Cell Group leaders are accountable to Homegroup leaders, who are accountable to Sphere group leaders, who are accountable to the Elders, who to the pastors, who in some ways are accountable to the elders and in some way not accountable although they would deny my last statement. Problem here is not as much a matter of lack of accountability as it is the idea that meddling in peoples lives for Jesus is a legitimate calling.
Think of the arrogance of telling people who they should date, what functions they should attend, where they should go to college. Now one can say "the bible greatly discourages a Christian from marrying someone who is not a Christian." That is however, not what anyone is referring to when they talk about Xenos. I was routinely questioned by all levels of leadership as to the belief system of girls I would date. I was told in one week by now less that Cell group, 2 homegroup, and one sphere group leader that I should break up with some girl I had just started dating (well to be fair she was Catholic). BTW I'm not trying to be derogatory to Catholics but rather represent the Xenos culture in the 1980s. Think about the level of gossip required for 4 individuals to approach me about the same topic that was not a sin or destructive in any way ( I had not even kissed the girl yet...LOL).
Think of the abbey in the movie Sound of Music and recall the song "How do you solve a problem like Maria?" A bunch of women gossiping about peoples personal lives and you will get the picture. It has been that way since the mid-seventies at least.
<quoted text>
Do many former members have to go to counseling after they leave this so called cult? Does a therapist have to deprogram their minds?
Buckz

Columbus, OH

#624 Dec 11, 2013
ubergenius wrote:
When Senior Pastors are unchecked or fill their church boards with "Yes" men,......
Does this church recruit international students also? I'm guessing most international students are not stupid enough to fall for their lies and manipulation since most are working on their masters degree or Ph.D.

Since: Dec 13

Columbus, OH

#625 Dec 12, 2013
No more deprogramming needed than any person who has been married to a manipulative or controlling spouse. This in not a cult group. But the "I worried about your spiritual development" comments by 4 or 5 people when you miss a home group and cell group meeting in one week is just weird. Use to tell the leaders to "stop gossiping about me. That is a sin." And would tell them that I was concerned about their spiritual development and ask how they could be a so-called leader if they were trapped in the sin of gossip and slander. Also used to tell them for someone who believed that God seldom had a specific will about most situations, they (cell, ministry house, home group, & sphere leaders, elders and senior pastors)surely represented a whole lot of specific knowledge about God's will for my life, job, church attendance, who I dated,etc.

Amazingly, otherwise intelligent individuals at Xenos continue to defend this oximoronic position.

Go to one of the Central teaching and I guarantee you will find it comfortable and informative. It is the fact that they think one-size-fits-all for people's Christian development and that means 14-16 hrs per week in the prescribed meetings and add 4-8 hrs a week if you are in lay leadership. It is also the fact that they don't tell you that up front when you join a home group that has led to their being mislabeled a cult. The leaders have been dealing with these similar allegations since at least the late 1970s and have made no significant changes in their approach.
Buckz wrote:
<quoted text>
Do many former members have to go to counseling after they leave this so called cult? Does a therapist have to deprogram their minds?
Bob G

Columbus, OH

#626 Dec 13, 2013
Reading this thread is similar to reading sites where terminated employees of companies go to evaluate their experiences. Not surprisingly, the comments are mostly negative.

As imperfect creations, we are (I am) egocentric to the point that "whatever happened to me in my situation encapsulates/is emblematic of the entire Xenos church."

If you have been harmed by your experience at Xenos, that is sad and I am sorry. We make mistakes, and occasionally they hurt people. A wise Christian will forgive the transgression (if there was one) and attempt to repair it and move on.

We also share, teach and live (to the best of our ability) the word of God. This is our purpose.

Healthy skepticism is fine, and I encourage it for the ignorant. But reserve your judgement until you have facts on which to base your opinion. In short, do your own homework. Citing things you have "heard" or read on the internet as "fact" makes you a gullible tool.

"Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." -Thomas Jefferson
Reason

Columbus, OH

#627 Dec 13, 2013
Bob G wrote:
Reading this thread is similar to reading sites where terminated employees of companies go to evaluate their experiences. Not surprisingly, the comments are mostly negative.
As imperfect creations, we are (I am) egocentric to the point that "whatever happened to me in my situation encapsulates/is emblematic of the entire Xenos church."
If you have been harmed by your experience at Xenos, that is sad and I am sorry. We make mistakes, and occasionally they hurt people. A wise Christian will forgive the transgression (if there was one) and attempt to repair it and move on.
We also share, teach and live (to the best of our ability) the word of God. This is our purpose.
Healthy skepticism is fine, and I encourage it for the ignorant. But reserve your judgement until you have facts on which to base your opinion. In short, do your own homework. Citing things you have "heard" or read on the internet as "fact" makes you a gullible tool.
"Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." -Thomas Jefferson
There are numerous people who have left that have complained about this church. I don't see one former member posting with positive comments. That tells me there is something not right about this church. Also, the majority of the comments made here are specific, which lends itself some credibility.

Forgive? Yes, but lets not forget. Why does this church (short of being a cult) do the same practice over and over again? People forgive, they do it again. Once again people forgive, they do it again. Nothing changes.
Bob G

Columbus, OH

#628 Dec 13, 2013
There were several posts by former members that were either neutral or positive. My guess is you didn't read them, or since they didn't fit your template, you dismissed them.

I don't know what you mean that the "...comments made here are specific" and how that lends to credibility. I know several of the comments made were abjectly false. I have no doubt some are true as well.

Do you have a specific experience at Xenos? Are you merely making assumptions based on a thread with a misleading title because your initial belief leaned in that direction and it's easier to "pile on" than to look into it for yourself? Look up the word "cult" in any dictionary. You will find that any organized religion meets the definition.

And finally, forget what? We must never forget any mistakes made, lest we repeat them. And what practice does Xenos do "over and over again?" I challenge you (and anyone ignorant of Xenos' ways) to look into it for yourself. Don't allow a personal bias sway you. Do your own homework!(that would be true "reason")

"Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." -Thomas Jefferson

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