Xenos Christian Fellowship is a CULT!

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#647
Dec 16, 2013
 
Bob G wrote:
<quoted text>
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.
Not true regarding different religions and dating others. Fan of jefferson? Let's start with removing under God from coins.

Since: Dec 13

Columbus, OH

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#649
Dec 18, 2013
 

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Bob G,

So if the point of your "terminated employee" analogy was not to suggest that comments on this blog about Xenos by former members are not objective then I misunderstood. Else it doesn't deal with the points but shifts attention to the one arguing them.

"An ad hominem (Latin for "to the man" or "to the person"[1]), short for argumentum ad hominem, is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument" Wiki

Point is if I agree or disagree with the analogy it is not dealing with the points we are discussing. If however, the post we were discussing were dealing with psychological damage from being kicked out of Xenos for various reasons then your analogy would not be false but germane.

To your questions below:
1- yes but must focus on CT and classes or put boundaries on leaders going into homegroup saying that you have other time constraints and have no intention of doing more than x.
2 - Yes. Many lay leaders spend 2 times that amount and it is their time. We each should take very seriously Christ's call to Discipleship not just conversion.
3- LOL. No that claim is and example of the logical extension fallacy (extend the truth to the ridiculous and attack the extension. Truth is that every person I dated for more than a month was known somehow to my Homegroup leaders and sphere group leaders and some elders (Spooky). Several times when I dated Catholic girls I was told I needed to break it off as we were "unequally yoked". Now that is quite an assumption. But I did date outside of Xenos and left due to gossip and slander of my fiancee by ministry house, homegroup, sphere and elders.
4.Have stated unequivocally that Xenos is NOT a cult but appears as one do to manipulation by leaders that is systematic. Further that the Xenos and Fishhouse culture are the way they are due to one extremely influential leader who has reigned unchecked for decades.
5.I want them to: understand that Xenos is orthodox in their theology, are serious followers of Christ, have developed a cultural model for evangelism and discipleship that takes "loving God with all your mind" very seriously, and for them to be empowered to put boundaries on spiritually and emotionally immature leaders when they need to.

You will gain much from Xenos.
Bob G wrote:
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

Since: Dec 13

Columbus, OH

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#650
Dec 18, 2013
 
So I have been very blunt and specific about leadership manipulation and spiritual and emotional immaturity at Xenos. That said "mind-control", "brainwashed", and "undergo personality changes" or "turned against their families" was not something I witness even one time in 7 years of attending CT, Homegroup, Cell groups, and living in a ministry house for 3 years.

Further attacking Bob G as an apologist is a logical dodge that fails to deal with his points directly and disrespects his ideas. It also misses the point that every person on the planet is an apologist (giving a defense) for their worldview. Do you expect us to believe you have a worldview that you don't believe in "Anonymous"? Your claim is self-defeating. If you were personally impacted Xenos please contribute. Would like to know if your experience matched up with mine.
Anonymous wrote:
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.
Bob G

Columbus, OH

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#651
Dec 18, 2013
 

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ubergenius wrote:
Bob G,
So if the point of your "terminated employee" analogy was not to suggest that comments on this blog about Xenos by former members are not objective then I misunderstood. Else it doesn't deal with the points but shifts attention to the one arguing them.
"An ad hominem (Latin for "to the man" or "to the person"[1]), short for argumentum ad hominem, is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument" Wiki
Point is if I agree or disagree with the analogy it is not dealing with the points we are discussing. If however, the post we were discussing were dealing with psychological damage from being kicked out of Xenos for various reasons then your analogy would not be false but germane.
To your questions below:
1- yes but must focus on CT and classes or put boundaries on leaders going into homegroup saying that you have other time constraints and have no intention of doing more than x.
2 - Yes. Many lay leaders spend 2 times that amount and it is their time. We each should take very seriously Christ's call to Discipleship not just conversion.
3- LOL. No that claim is and example of the logical extension fallacy (extend the truth to the ridiculous and attack the extension. Truth is that every person I dated for more than a month was known somehow to my Homegroup leaders and sphere group leaders and some elders (Spooky). Several times when I dated Catholic girls I was told I needed to break it off as we were "unequally yoked". Now that is quite an assumption. But I did date outside of Xenos and left due to gossip and slander of my fiancee by ministry house, homegroup, sphere and elders.
4.Have stated unequivocally that Xenos is NOT a cult but appears as one do to manipulation by leaders that is systematic. Further that the Xenos and Fishhouse culture are the way they are due to one extremely influential leader who has reigned unchecked for decades.
5.I want them to: understand that Xenos is orthodox in their theology, are serious followers of Christ, have developed a cultural model for evangelism and discipleship that takes "loving God with all your mind" very seriously, and for them to be empowered to put boundaries on spiritually and emotionally immature leaders when they need to.
You will gain much from Xenos.
<quoted text>
Thanks for your candid response.

I am concerned with two points (one factual and one opinion) that you made.

1. If you were harassed, manipulated or influenced based on/because of the religious affiliation of whomever you dated, that is awful. Sounds like somebody may have been a little overzealous with their hall-monitor appointment. If you were being counseled about having sex outside of marriage, that's different, but there's a way to properly handle that. I'm not soap-boxing here, and I know you understand Xenos' position on the matter.

2. The leader you claim that has reigned unchecked for years must be Dennis. I don't know how this can happen with our elders serving as overseers, unless he intimidates them and only appoints those he can control. I hope you're wrong on this point, but will watch for it.

Regardless of what church (if any) you call home, you appear to be somebody who understands Christ's call and have acted on it accordingly. In the end, that's what matters. Thanks for the conversation. I pointed the areas out where I agree and disagree with you, and respect your position.

peace
Money

Columbus, OH

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#652
Dec 18, 2013
 
Bob G wrote:
<quoted text>
2. The leader you claim that has reigned unchecked for years must be Dennis. I don't know how this can happen with our elders serving as overseers, unless he intimidates them and only appoints those he can control. I hope you're wrong on this point, but will watch for it.
Regardless of what church (if any) you call home, you appear to be somebody who understands Christ's call and have acted on it accordingly. In the end, that's what matters. Thanks for the conversation. I pointed the areas out where I agree and disagree with you, and respect your position.
peace
Curious, how much does Dennis make per year?
abc

Columbus, OH

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#653
Dec 18, 2013
 
Bob G,

1. What do you do for a living?

2. How many hours do you spend at church per week?

3. Where in the Bible does it say one has to spend an enormous amount of time at church per week?

4. Do you have friends that are not Christians or that are Christians but of another denomination?
Bob G

Columbus, OH

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#654
Dec 19, 2013
 
Money wrote:
<quoted text>
Curious, how much does Dennis make per year?
I don't know how much Dennis makes, but I would guess in the range of $200,000. The finance books are open and this information is available for every church employee - similar to government employees. Finance information is available as to every dollar donated and where it goes. I wouldn't donate to an organization that doesn't offer full disclosure.
Bob G

Columbus, OH

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#655
Dec 19, 2013
 
abc wrote:
Bob G,
1. What do you do for a living?
2. How many hours do you spend at church per week?
3. Where in the Bible does it say one has to spend an enormous amount of time at church per week?
4. Do you have friends that are not Christians or that are Christians but of another denomination?
1. What does that have to do with anything? I am a businessman.

2. I currently commit about 6 hours to church/church related activities per week.

3. It doesn't.

4. Of course. Some of my best friends are either/both.
Bob G

Columbus, OH

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#656
Dec 19, 2013
 
abc wrote:
Bob G,
1. What do you do for a living?
2. How many hours do you spend at church per week?
3. Where in the Bible does it say one has to spend an enormous amount of time at church per week?
4. Do you have friends that are not Christians or that are Christians but of another denomination?
Check that 4th point. Meant to say I have many friends that are either not Christian or members of another Christian sect. I simply don't function well without coffee.
Ted

Columbus, OH

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#657
Dec 19, 2013
 
Bob G wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't know how much Dennis makes, but I would guess in the range of $200,000. The finance books are open and this information is available for every church employee - similar to government employees. Finance information is available as to every dollar donated and where it goes. I wouldn't donate to an organization that doesn't offer full disclosure.
Are their financial books audited by an independent CPA firm?
Bob G

Columbus, OH

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#658
Dec 19, 2013
 
Ted wrote:
<quoted text>
Are their financial books audited by an independent CPA firm?
I sure hope so, Ted. I have no firsthand knowledge of our auditor(s), though.

There are over 5,000 members at the church. We are also the home church of at least one major CBUS CPA firm. I think it's a safe presumption that many have looked into the books before.

The implication that a few posters have made about pastors enriching themselves is invalid when you see the annual budget and their annual salaries.

I don't know if a non-contributing member can look at the books or not. If you're interested, give them a call.
Ted

Columbus, OH

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#659
Dec 19, 2013
 
Bob G wrote:
<quoted text>
I sure hope so, Ted. I have no firsthand knowledge of our auditor(s), though.
There are over 5,000 members at the church. We are also the home church of at least one major CBUS CPA firm. I think it's a safe presumption that many have looked into the books before.
The implication that a few posters have made about pastors enriching themselves is invalid when you see the annual budget and their annual salaries.
I don't know if a non-contributing member can look at the books or not. If you're interested, give them a call.
Is this a full comprehensive audit or a weak compilation audit? Is there a unqualified opinion or qualified opinion attached to it?
forum

Columbus, OH

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#660
Dec 19, 2013
 
Bob G wrote:
<quoted text>
1. What does that have to do with anything? I am a businessman.
2. I currently commit about 6 hours to church/church related activities per week.
3. It doesn't.
4. Of course. Some of my best friends are either/both.
Based on your answer to 3, one doesn't need to go to church at all. One just needs to believe, that it's enough to get to heaven.
Bob G

Columbus, OH

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#661
Dec 19, 2013
 
Ted, I don't know. If it's an issue for you, go find out.

Forum, that is somewhat correct. That hasn't been part of the discussion, however. By the way, it's not "based on my answer," it's based on the written word in the bible.

The reason I say "somewhat correct" is that belief in itself doesn't cut it. An old saying is that the devil believes in God, too. You have to accept the gift of grace by acknowledging that Jesus is the son of God who died for your sins. There's no formal requirement and it doesn't have to happen in a church or be supervised by a pastor/priest. You need to change your belief system to accept this and humble yourself. It's harder than it sounds, as our pride is not easily overcome.

Since: Dec 13

Columbus, OH

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#662
Dec 21, 2013
 

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Bob G wrote:
<quoted text>
Thanks for your candid response.
I am concerned with two points (one factual and one opinion) that you made.
1. If you were harassed, manipulated or influenced based on/because of the religious affiliation of whomever you dated, that is awful. Sounds like somebody may have been a little overzealous with their hall-monitor appointment. If you were being counseled about having sex outside of marriage, that's different, but there's a way to properly handle that. I'm not soap-boxing here, and I know you understand Xenos' position on the matter.

I was dating a girl who described herself as a believing Catholic. Leaders (cell, homegroup, and Elder) all showed up at the same day telling me to break off a non-sexual relationship because in their view all Catholics are not saved.

Bob G wrote
2. The leader you claim that has reigned unchecked for years must be @#$@#. I don't know how this can happen with our elders serving as overseers, unless he intimidates them and only appoints those he can control. I hope you're wrong on this point, but will watch for it.
Regardless of what church (if any) you call home, you appear to be somebody who understands Christ's call and have acted on it accordingly. In the end, that's what matters. Thanks for the conversation. I pointed the areas out where I agree and disagree with you, and respect your position.
peace
So I have tried to steer clear of overtly naming an individual due to the fact that I have changed significantly over the last 20 years and assume he has matured past the antics that were commonplace in the 70s and 80s. Also, due to the nature of this blog, I have not given him his due. He has helped thousands of people gain an intellectual understanding of God who would have never darkened the door of a traditional church or church liturgy.

What you have read in my comments is more accurately described as frustration that if the elders and other pastor had done what they claim to do and check his behavior then the Xenos culture would have all of the benefits and none (of few) of the detractors. Unfortunately two friends, one in a ministry house and another a 28-year member of Xenos, have just left Xenos in the last few weeks for the abuses I have mentioned previously by ministry house and homegroup leaders respectively.

Bob as long as you see Xenos as a resource that the HS uses for your maturation in Christ you will find it to be enormously developmental. The minute you find yourself being told to violate someone's conscience in the name of knowing the specific will of God in their lives and realize that moving to the next level of leadership is based on how you respond. Well...Run!

Peace to you as well.

Since: Dec 13

Columbus, OH

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#663
Dec 21, 2013
 

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Bob G wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't know how much Dennis makes, but I would guess in the range of $200,000. The finance books are open and this information is available for every church employee - similar to government employees. Finance information is available as to every dollar donated and where it goes. I wouldn't donate to an organization that doesn't offer full disclosure.
So this amount would be stunning. Historically Xenos has led the country in stewardship model or paying leaders based on financial requirements. If your spouse makes 50k/yr and for a family of 2 with $52k/yr is the baseline requirement (determined by a standard of living formula that is published in Xenos) you would get $2k/yr. Yep... you heard me right. The person who was single might get $25-30k. With 4 kids it might be $60k/yr minus what spouse makes. In the 80s the joke was that just about anyone on staff could leave Xenos and get a paper route and make more money.

In 70s and 80s we saw the rise of the false doctrine known as health and wealth. This heresy put the church in the US under great scrutiny by non-believers (as it should). And as a response (and biblical exegesis on the topic) Xenos adopted the needs-based approach. Although I have pulled no punches on this blog to date, in the category of financial stewardship, and transparency Xenos is exemplar.

Uber
Cbus

Columbus, OH

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#664
Dec 22, 2013
 

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ubergenius wrote:
<quoted text>
What you have read in my comments is more accurately described as frustration that if the elders and other pastor had done what they claim to do and check his behavior then the Xenos culture would have all of the benefits and none (of few) of the detractors. Unfortunately two friends, one in a ministry house and another a 28-year member of Xenos, have just left Xenos in the last few weeks for the abuses I have mentioned previously by ministry house and homegroup leaders respectively.
Why haven't more people left this cult like church? The immaturity and abuse would get old after a while.

Since: Dec 13

Columbus, OH

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#665
Dec 24, 2013
 
Cbus wrote:
<quoted text>
Why haven't more people left this cult like church? The immaturity and abuse would get old after a while.
The positive and unique differences of this church are very attractive. Living with a bunch of Christians, when you are serious about serving the Lord, can be enormously fulfilling. When alternative churches seem to major on the things that are minor in scripture and minor on the things that are major in scripture (e.g. Discipleship and Evangelism). Seeing God's church grow and divide quickly (some homegroups doubled in 18 months or less), authorizes the whole methodology to the immature believer. It should authorize the homegroup structure and outreach to the local community, without the manipulation. It should be focused more on facilitation and less on manipulation. But most other churches are ecstatic if they grow at 5% per year. So it became easy to knit a whole host of scriptures together to argue for a significant level of commitment, given the significant level of impact compared to other church groups.

If you want to spend 2 hrs a week showing up to a church, singing a few songs, hearing a 45-min message from the Bible, say "peace be with you", and put your tithe in the offering and call it quits unit the next Sunday, well Xenos is not the place for you. But Mt. 7:21-26 and 25:31-46 (Sermon on the Mount, and Olivet Discourse respectively) have some significant things to say about the individuals who don't take seriously the requirement of discipleship. I think that all church attenders of the variety listed above are in danger of being shamed in the day of judgement (some even going to hell). These passages have led me to great sobriety when it comes to my investment.

In fact if the leadership in the 70s and 80s had been more humble and seen their role as facilitation rather than manipulation (I'm talking about regular preschool-like tantrums of "its my way or the highway") then I believe that this church would be over 25000 people by now. And will have planted dozens of satellite churches across the state equal or greater to that number. But alas humility never seemed to develop in the leadership and this trait continues to be the exception rather than the rule.
Cbus

Columbus, OH

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#666
Dec 24, 2013
 
ubergenius wrote:
<quoted text>
The positive and unique differences.....
Is there a lot of hypocrisy at this church? Do the leaders there bark orders and expect others to do all the work while they do nothing? Do the leaders sit in their comfy offices and fatten themselves up?
Question

Grove City, OH

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#667
Dec 24, 2013
 

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Do they believe in baptism?

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