Story One: "These people also made anti-LGBT and anti-abortion comments a lot."
Shortly after I got to Columbus, someone I knew invited me to go to her church with her (that's how all cults get started - they have you try to reel your family and friends in). Since I was in an unfamiliar place and wanted to meet people, I figured I'd go. I saw red flags almost right away and got a weird vibe from the people at their meetings, but the longer I stayed, the weirder it got. No one in the church had any friends outside the church, their lives literally revolved around religion and that was all they wanted to talk about when I spent time with them, they tried to force me to be in situations that made me uncomfortable (I have anxiety and don't handle big crowds well, but they were always trying to get me to go to the megachurch's big meetings), I was told that my anxiety and depression issues were Satan trying to take over me, they shamed me for missing prayer meetings if I had to work (my bills weren't going to pay themselves), and they also shamed me for liking literally everything I like (examples: John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, American Girl dolls, Glee, skating, the teams I like). When I confided with two girls in the group who I thought I was friends with about a traumatic experience from my past, they pressured me to tell EVERYONE in the group. They would always harass me about going on their retreats, telling me to power through, even though I made it clear being in a cabin with that many people and that much noise would be too much for me. My grief for Finchel was something I was very much struggling with at the time, and whenever I tried talking to the friends I thought I'd made about my grief, they'd tell me, again, that Satan was taking over me and that I should just trust God. These people also made anti-LGBT and anti-abortion comments a lot. (Even after I quit, I kept several of them on my Facebook and they were all supporting Trump because he's against abortion.) At first, I thought they genuinely liked me, which is why I stuck around for a while even though I was uncomfortable. Eventually, I realized they didn't see me as a friend, just a person they needed to save from myself. When I did some research, I discovered that the deeper people get into it, they do even more disturbing things, so I'm so glad I got out when I did.
Story Two: "How another friend was bullied to believe that her suicidal tendencies made her selfish and a sinner"
Thank you for creating this account, I have watched this church hurt many of my friends over the years. It makes me feel helpless when they leach on to another one of my friends. I try to tell them about my past friends stories and my own.. how one friend came out as gay only to be shoved back in the closet by members of this cult and told that God could heal her depression. How another friend was bullied to believe that her suicidal tendencies made her selfish and a sinner.
How members of Xenos tried to make me participate in a ceremony to “reclaim my virginity” even though I wasn’t ashamed of my sexual life... until I went to home church.
They are truly manipulative and evil, and I just wanted to thank you for having the courage to expose them.
Story Three: "They are crazy. That place is basically a cult and Ive been saying it for years."
So, a couple year’s ago I would use to go to their “CT” night’s just to see friends honestly. I ended up not going anymore because the way they did things was really not my taste and they where always really shady. I started dating my one friend who was apart of a home church and agreed to start going with her. The home church KNEW she was gay and always supported her ( so we thought. ) I was hesitant to go again due to the fear of being judged for our relationship but she assured me that HER
Home church was REALLY accepting of it. I started to go and they invited me to the events outside of the actual church and I started becoming friends with the people in the home church. One of the girl’s ( we will call her like.. Kelly. ) Well Kelly started becoming really shady all of a sudden. One day we were at the Church and the leader’s of the home church approached me and my girlfriend and asked to talk to my girlfriend, I started to go with and they immediately told me they need to talk
To her alone. They came off really tense and you could tell it was shady. I ended up going in an area where I could still see them talking and in a matter of minutes I saw my girlfriend crying, hard crying. I go to where they are even though they didn’t want me there and made sure she was okay. The “leaders” left and she stared telling me that if she didn’t dump me they she would have to leave the group ( remind you she had a strong bond with this group. ) Turns out “Kelly” told the group we
we’re sexually active. Apparently they “supported” my girlfriend’s choice of being lesbian but didn’t support her ACTUALLY being in a relationship WITH a girl. We never went back and ever since all those people turned even more shady as well as the whole church to not only us but our friends. The church loves control. If they cannot control your actions, they threaten to kick you out completely. They are crazy. That place is basically a cult and Ive been saying it for years.
Also, Id love to help in anyway I can. That place hurt many of the people close to me.
Story Four: "Xenos isn’t worth losing my happiness"
I was actually kicked out of the high school ministry called [ . . . . ] for getting into a relationship with this trans ftm who I met within our group a few years ago. They said our relationship wasn’t godly and that we would have to leave if we didn’t break up lol. So we left. I’m no longer with them but goes to show that Xenos isn’t worth losing my happiness lol
Story Five: "my sister went on to have multiple suicide attempts and lots of lasting pain."
I was in Xenos from 8th grade to the middle of my junior year of Highschool. In middle school I didn’t have a lot of friends and I was just coming out of a church that treated me like I was a horrible person for no reason. People in Xenos acted like they were different, that they were not judgmental, and that they would love me. I stayed and as I “grew in the church” I was looked at as a key component of the group. My sister was in a middle school group but was kicked out because they couldn’t Handle her exploration of her sexuality and her issues with major depressive disorder. My sister went on to have multiple suicide attempts and lots of lasting pain. I obviously struggled with this and it carried over to my group. I was honest with everyone about how I felt but obviously I needed to be at home sometimes to help with my family. I missed a few meetings from being sick and one for trying to outreach to two of my friends. The “nail in my coffin” was that I had hung out with a boy
That was a non believer. I developed feelings for him and told people. I had told maybe two people and they were supportive. Soon everyone in the group knew and were less than supportive. Within the next few days I was at my weekly hangout with my “ministry leader” and I was accused of being distant, being in sexual sin, not following god anymore, and the greatest one was being selfish because I wasn’t ready to donate money to the church. I left shortly after and the only way I could get out was
Begging my mom to ban me from going. They caught on and sent someone to my house to accuse me further of being in sin that never happened . They treat walking away from the church as walking away from God. No church is a God. This place fucked me up so bad that I still and always will have trust issues.
Story Six: "Do not fall for the fake love this church shows. Stay clear of Xenos "Christian" Fellowship."
I attended Xenos Christian Schools from age 3 to age 12, taught vacation bible school at the church from age 10 to 13, and was an active member of the church all through middle school. I am currently age 18. I am here to reaffirm that what goes on at this church is not normal.
In a school setting, the issues with the church were not so noticeable, other than in middle school specifically, my bible class teacher consistently talked bad on other religions, especially Catholicism. My parents stated that they pulled me from the school system after the school "began telling us what we ARE going to do, such as sending you to Xenos church camps and meetings and stuff. They became very pushy with us too, saying that we needed to be more involved in the church and it was very uncomfortable. We weren't comfortable sending you to school there anymore."
In the church setting, the oddities with the church became very noticeable. The people of the church have a very odd overbearing way of showing you this love and welcoming nature that at first just seems friendly. However, later on I realized that this love they have for their people is not unconditional, rather it is used as a distraction from the abnormal things they do. Here are the main problems that I have experienced with Xenos, a church claiming to be non-denominational:
- Judgmental nature of its people
The people of the church, while overbearingly friendly at first, are incredibly judgmental. They have a tendency to bash other religions and are very quick to judge those who are non-members of the church. Not very Christian-like.
- The persistent push to donate money to the church (and its people)
They are constantly in your face about donating to the church. Even when I attended the middle school Blowout (central teaching) every week, they would ask you to donate money to the "church fund" and pass around a bag right before and during the teachings. This is incredibly inappropriate, especially at a middle school teaching when the audience is kids aged 11-13. In addition, anytime a church member may be struggling financially (this has happened on multiple occasions), that church member just expects that the people of the church have them covered. In other words, "mooch" is a good word to describe the church members.
- Unspoken homophobia
This church is very homophobic. They are not at all outspoken about this.(obviously, because that would be judgmental, right?) I came out as gay my junior year of high school, when I was still friends with people from the church. Immediately, I stopped hearing from anybody I have ever associated with at the church. I was cut off. This has happened to a few of my LGBT friends that attended the church. They will ask you to leave the church if they catch wind that you are LGBT.
- Members disconnected from their families
This didn't happen to me personally because my parents were not members of the church, but I watched it happen to one of my family members who has been a member of the church for 20+ years. She became very distant from our family, putting the church members before us all the time. We would never see her. She has gotten better at this after some family intervention, but Xenos is still her number one priority, and it's too late to change that, she's in too deep.
- OSU campus ministry houses
The whole idea surrounding the college ministry houses is strange. It's like they want their members living together so no outside influence can derail them from putting their ultimate focus on the church. The process of getting into a ministry house is also quite odd. They make you prove your devotion to the church for MONTHS before they allow you to live in one (my cousin is in this process, unfortunately). The second they see doubt, you no longer stand a chance of getting into a ministry house.
- Show doubt? You're out
The church has this ongoing theme. They're all about showing your devotion to them. They make you feel like you owe your life to them. The moment you stray your focus from the church, you can say goodbye to it and all of its members. If they can't lure you in and keep you devoted completely to Xenos, they suddenly become unwelcoming, very opposite of their initial attitude towards people. There is none of this going to church with your family on Sunday morning and going home type of deal. It's more like, come to church every week, but also come to every home church meeting, go on every retreat, quit your job and work for us and our schools, and only associate with our members. The same goes for the middle and high school cell groups/home churches. If you miss a couple meetings, you will notice that you are not as welcomed by the people of the groups.
- Heavy smokers and drinkers, but sex isn't allowed
There are a ton of heavy smokers (college population) and drinkers (all adult ages) at this church. Adults drink DURING the central teachings. The high school and college home churches are loaded with smokers. The church has made it known that they are fine with smoking and drinking (because they know they can't be too strict) but are very NOT okay with sex- because that's a bad, bad sin to them.
Do not fall for the fake love this church shows. Stay clear of Xenos "Christian" Fellowship.
Story Seven: "Pyro is a cult. Xenos is a cult."
Hi man, thanks for creating this page. I was a part of Pyro for some time and then they kicked me out because I was gay and wasn't afraid to show it. They were scared that it would "affect" other people almost. They tried to send me to Arsenal to "get some help". For Xenos it's like if you're not like them, you're not accepted. They kicked out another boy for the same reason as I. Pyro is a cult. Xenos is a cult. Get the message out before anyone else has to experience this horrible feeling.