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
cbus

Columbus, OH

#629 Dec 13, 2013
Bob G wrote:
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.
Which posts? Be specific.
Wisen Hymer

Rockville, MD

#630 Dec 13, 2013
ubergenius wrote:
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.
<quoted text>
not talking about the official way the church operates, but places like that usually have 'needy' women- and I dont mean $$ needy - that if you just say the right things, do a little Bible thumpin, you know, play on their needs, and it often turns into a thumpin of another kind
cbus

Columbus, OH

#631 Dec 14, 2013
Bob G wrote:
There were several posts ......
Curious, are you a Xenoid? If so, how many years of indoctrination (brainwashing) have you had there?
Bill

Dublin, OH

#632 Dec 14, 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
It is quite odd for you to finish with a cherry picked quote from Jefferson. Allow me to expand:

Thus in the spirit of the Enlightenment, he made the following recommendation to his nephew Peter Carr in 1787: "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."[1] In Query XVII of Notes on the State of Virginia, he clearly outlines the views which led him to play a leading role in the campaign to separate church and state and which culminated in the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom: "The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God. The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.... Reason and free enquiry are the only effectual agents against error.[2] Jefferson's religious views became a major public issue during the bitter party conflict between Federalists and Republicans in the late 1790s when Jefferson was often accused of being an atheist.

http://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-c...
Bill

Dublin, OH

#633 Dec 14, 2013
cbus wrote:
<quoted text>
Curious, are you a Xenoid? If so, how many years of indoctrination (brainwashing) have you had there?
Cherry picking Bible quotes, cherry picking history, those who do so should not accuse others of being blind or living in fear.
Rich

Columbus, OH

#634 Dec 14, 2013
Bill wrote:
<quoted text>
Cherry picking Bible quotes, cherry picking history, those who do so should not accuse others of being blind or living in fear.
Dude, I have no clue what you just wrote.
Bill

Dublin, OH

#635 Dec 14, 2013
Rich wrote:
<quoted text>
Dude, I have no clue what you just wrote.
The poster is accusing others of being blind while being blind himself.
Jean

Columbus, OH

#636 Dec 14, 2013
Bill wrote:
<quoted text>
The poster is accusing others of being blind while being blind himself.
No he wasn't. He merely ask questions.
Bob G

Columbus, OH

#637 Dec 15, 2013
Bill wrote:
<quoted text>
It is quite odd for you to finish with a cherry picked quote from Jefferson. Allow me to expand:
Thus in the spirit of the Enlightenment, he made the following recommendation to his nephew Peter Carr in 1787: "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."[1] In Query XVII of Notes on the State of Virginia, he clearly outlines the views which led him to play a leading role in the campaign to separate church and state and which culminated in the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom: "The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God. The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.... Reason and free enquiry are the only effectual agents against error.[2] Jefferson's religious views became a major public issue during the bitter party conflict between Federalists and Republicans in the late 1790s when Jefferson was often accused of being an atheist.
http://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-c...
Aren't all quotes "cherry picked" in order to make a point?(although some people use them as routine "taglines" that align with their philosophy or ideology - that's cool too).

I believe the quote is applicable in the respect that several people are questioning the actions and legitimacy of Xenos Christian Fellowship. Several have made the accusation that Xenos is a cult. I believe if they are truly interested/concerned, they should find out for themselves. This takes effort, so most won't bother. It's easy to get caught up in the mob mentality, and takes no effort.

I don't understand your need to point out Franklin's desire for a division of government and religion, but I strongly concur with his (and I believe your) position. The founders were fleeing a monarchy where religion and government were one and the same. They knew the pitfalls of such a setup.

"Mama said believe half of what you see son, and none of what you hear." -Marvin Gaye (cherry picked from Benjamin Franklin who cherry picked it from an unknown source!)
Bob G

Columbus, OH

#638 Dec 15, 2013
Sorry, Bill. I meant Jefferson's desire for a division of government and religion. Have not had the morning coffee yet.
Bill

Dublin, OH

#639 Dec 15, 2013
Bob G wrote:
<quoted text>
Aren't all quotes "cherry picked" in order to make a point?(although some people use them as routine "taglines" that align with their philosophy or ideology - that's cool too).
I believe the quote is applicable in the respect that several people are questioning the actions and legitimacy of Xenos Christian Fellowship. Several have made the accusation that Xenos is a cult. I believe if they are truly interested/concerned, they should find out for themselves. This takes effort, so most won't bother. It's easy to get caught up in the mob mentality, and takes no effort.
I don't understand your need to point out Franklin's desire for a division of government and religion, but I strongly concur with his (and I believe your) position. The founders were fleeing a monarchy where religion and government were one and the same. They knew the pitfalls of such a setup.
"Mama said believe half of what you see son, and none of what you hear." -Marvin Gaye (cherry picked from Benjamin Franklin who cherry picked it from an unknown source!)
You missed the point.

In going back and reading the comments of the defenders of this church, it is clear that your way (aka The Word) and your way alone are to be followed. One can't even date someone, another Christian, who handles a different Christian philosophy (that is true, true, true based on a personal experience - not based off the internet or this thread).

The fact of the matter is, you seem to think Jefferson is in your corner; alas, he is not. He was a many paths kind of guy - which does not represent Xenos in any way, shape or form. I found it odd that you would end your defense of Xenos with a quote from a man who was OK with different religious philosophies.

The money quote that you missed: "But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg..."

As one who has had many attempts made to recruit me into Xenos - a different philosophy than the one I presently hold - I found it odd that you used Jefferson, a man who did not believe in a "one size fits all aka The Word" religion. Xenos does.
Bill

Dublin, OH

#640 Dec 15, 2013
Bob G wrote:
Sorry, Bill. I meant Jefferson's desire for a division of government and religion. Have not had the morning coffee yet.
Understood!
Bob G

Columbus, OH

#641 Dec 16, 2013
Bill wrote:
<quoted text>
You missed the point.
In going back and reading the comments of the defenders of this church, it is clear that your way (aka The Word) and your way alone are to be followed. One can't even date someone, another Christian, who handles a different Christian philosophy (that is true, true, true based on a personal experience - not based off the internet or this thread).
The fact of the matter is, you seem to think Jefferson is in your corner; alas, he is not. He was a many paths kind of guy - which does not represent Xenos in any way, shape or form. I found it odd that you would end your defense of Xenos with a quote from a man who was OK with different religious philosophies.
The money quote that you missed: "But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg..."
As one who has had many attempts made to recruit me into Xenos - a different philosophy than the one I presently hold - I found it odd that you used Jefferson, a man who did not believe in a "one size fits all aka The Word" religion. Xenos does.
There are no rules at Xenos regarding dating people of different Christian beliefs. I don't think there are even rules about dating non-Christians.

We use the bible (you called it "The Word") as our guide, as it is less subject to change than say tradition or any other non-biblical basis for worship or belief system.

We believe anyone who has accepted Jesus as their savior and has asked him to pay for their sins with his death and resurrection and acknowledges him as the Son of God is a Christian (believer) and saved for eternity whether they call themselves a Catholic, Baptist, or simply a Christian. We believe there are some unessential non-biblical tenets of different faiths, but they hardly have the power to override Christ's promise that if you accept him, you will be forever preserved in him.

As far as the Jefferson quote, I use it often and for the purpose of this discussion told you why I found it relevant. I am one who is fascinated by and studies our country's founders. Jefferson indeed is "in my corner" as the expanded quote you provided was justification for a clear division between religion and government, not a message to the masses that there are "several paths" to God. Maybe it was you who missed his point.

Since: Dec 13

Columbus, OH

#642 Dec 16, 2013
Bob G

Posted something on this last week but it didn't show up and is probably lost in the blogesphere.

You False Analogy (terminated employees) is a logical dodge. I have made some good points about learning discipleship, rigorous bible study, church fellowship, and evangelism from Xenos and most likely the Senior Pastor is at the root of the culture that enabled me to learn these things. That said, the "hurting people" comes from demanding home group, central teaching, cell group, and bible study class work, not to mention workers meetings and potentially additional meetings if you are involved in a ministry house. 12-16 hrs/week is common. Point is you are not told this going in. CT attendees are invited to Home group, then cell groups then ministry then told they should take classes, etc. If they ever push back at any time they are visited by many leaders or lay leaders that all seem to arrive on the same day saying the same thing "We're concerned about your spirituality". It is the fact that students are all of a sudden spending 8 times as much time on church activity once they join Xenos as before. These complaints have been going back 35 years and they will will not change while current leadership is in place. The leaders would say that Jesus requires this type of commitment or more.

The imperfect creations comment is a red herring. There are 1000s or churches that have been operating with imperfect creations as pastors, lay leaders and members who don't have a single accusation of being cultic in 35 years of ministry. Xenos has 1000s of accusations. These are not a result of immature, undeveloped, aberrant members but rather immature, undeveloped, aberrant leaders. Once again if they made their case upfront or even didn't have a plan have a half-dozen people manipulate if your choices differ from what they want you to do.

This manipulation is systematic. It is required behavior to become a leader and remain one.

If you have the time and are strong-willed and not easily manipulated I think you can gain a lot out of this experience. In fact this church has perhaps the highest average member knowledge of scripture, evangelism, and discipleship in the state and possibly the US.

That said I wanted to warn people who are ignorant of what they are signing up for so they can make their decisions with their eyes wide open. I want to protect these newcomers to Xenos the same way I would protect kids that are not my own if I saw some creepy guy get out of a van an approach them with candy on a playground. Just kidding! See how a false analogy can shut down meaningful conversation and rob people of the respect their opinion deserves.

Uber
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
Anonymous

Westerville, OH

#643 Dec 16, 2013
Bob G is new Xenos apologist who is taking over for jrock, unsuccessfully cherry-picking the bible and cherry-picking history to whitewash the tax-exempt abuses of a mind-control bible cult. But everybody still knows that there are people who are manipulated into Xenos, brainwashed into Xenos, often as minors, often against the wishes of their parents, who undergo personality changes and are turned against their families. You can't whitewash that.
Duke for Mayor

Akron, OH

#644 Dec 16, 2013
Curious wrote:
Does Xenos accept all denominations?
Most likely, yes, but I'm sure they like 100's best. Also certified checks and money orders.

You can probably have grandma bequeath your share of her estate to them as well.

woof
Bob G

Columbus, OH

#645 Dec 16, 2013
Uber, that you disagree with my analogy makes it neither false nor a dodge. It means you disagree, which is fine. I believe I have read some of your posts (or post - I recall the time commitment detail) and they seemed fair. I hope mine seem fair as well. Regardless, I think you and I both seek truth.

Some questions for you, as there have been several accusers here not at all interested in the truth, but here only to detract or act as cheerleaders for the detractors.

1. Do you believe Xenos members can commit to significantly little time (1-2 hours per week) and still be in good standing with the church?

2. Do you think for members who are interested in leadership roles that it is reasonable to expect the 12-16 hours per week of classes/fellowship/bible study that you cited?

3. Do you believe that members are forbidden to date people outside of Xenos or shunned if they do so as has been charged on this thread?

4. Do you believe Xenos is a cult?

5. What is it that you want to protect newcomers to Xenos from? Not being informed up front about time commitments/expectations?

Full disclosure of my weekly commitment in hours:
Central Teaching - 1.5 hrs
Home Church - 3 hrs
Cell Group - 1.5 hrs
Total: 6 hours

I intend to sign up for a class in January which will add another 3 hours of classroom time and probably 3 hours of independent study, which would put me in the range you referenced at approximately 12 hours.

I don't aspire to a leadership role, but I believe it's a good idea to be equipped in the event the opportunity/need makes it necessary.

bob
Tim

Columbus, OH

#646 Dec 16, 2013
Bob G wrote:
Uber, that you disagree with my analogy ....
Do you not have a life outside of Church? Some of us have a job and a family to take care of.

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