More on gossip and spiritual controls

It was mentioned before in this article that XCF displays an ongoing disregard of the very instructions that Jesus gave concerning the private nature of confronting sins between members of the church, and specifically mentioned Matthew 18: 15-17. It should be noted that it is this very scripture that is often cited as the  justification for their brand of “spiritual gossip” in the first place, and specifically in the words of Dennis McCallum ;

Likewise, today's view of confidentiality would seem to flatly contradict Jesus' call to "tell it to the church" when someone refuses to repent for sin.-web archive :"Strange things in Xenos"-see sub heading above for full article; Note, this article has since been removed from all Xenos sources.

 

Matthew 18: (NIV) 15“If your brother or sisterb sins,c go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’d 17If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

 

To paraphrase: …If, after confronting your brother or sister on their sin they in turn “listen” to you (they repent) you have won back your sibling. However, if they don’t listen to you or the one or two more witnesses you take along later, than one can pretty much broadcast their shame to the whole church or whatever body may constitute that, and excommunication will follow if there is still no repentance. .....-end paraphrase

  It certainly doesn’t take any Christian leader worth his or her salt much effort to see the potential for abuse here, and it would seem that XCF is certainly no stranger to the practice of said abuse if even a fraction of what is reported is true.

First and foremost of course is the idea of how is “listening”, or repentance gauged? To what degree does a person have to display a “humble and contrite” attitude to the confronting party? How much agreement or even understanding? What time frame are they given, a moment, an hour, a day, or more? And herein lies the heart of gossip, when the motivation has shifted from patiently waiting and praying for the redemption of a lost brother or sister as Jesus would desire, to a rush for incorporating rejection and shame as a tool of manipulation and group approval, thus resulting in said spiritual gossip.

Then of course there is the issue of what constitutes a sin? The bible is very clear about excommunicable offences, but seeing that XCF engages in any level of shunning behaviours, how much can one violate their specific brand of controls before it is considered “sin”? If a ministry house member disables their spyware for a given time, is it counted as a shunning offence? Will they be booted out of the house, or just more closely monitored for awhile? Another classic cult like practice that XCF engages in is the abundance of meetings and other time consuming activities. How many meetings can one miss before being confronted? How many days can one go before it becomes the neglect of God’s kingdom, and thus a “biblical” sin? And once again the obvious motive here is not the spiritual health of the offending member, which at this point could be interpeted in a hundred different ways, but the conformity of the individual to the strict guidelines of the controling group, weather they be truly sinnful or not.

Most churches, at this point, seem to find their own happy medium or middle ground that seems to work for the majority of their congregation, whatever extreme they agree upon. However, it is here that XCF reveals their true colours, and perhaps some of the most alarming behaviours of all. Based upon the said scripture quote from Matthew before, and various other scriptures that implore church members to bear one another’s burdens as well as confession of sins, XCF quite literally boast of their demand that the leadership, and specifically the elders, be given full access to any and all exchanges between XCF members and the on staff counsellors. (see "Strange things in Xenos" link here) Imagine this, what the U.S. government and its collective citizens have continuously fought over and upheld, a “right” that no government person or judge should be allowed to violate, has been deemed by the elders of Xenos Christian Fellowship, by their own self proclaimed appointment, a non-relevant privilege to any XCF member who may have been desperate enough to have shared their innermost struggles with a Xenos counsellor. This is arrogance of an immensely tall order. One must consider the absolute moral high ground this group of mostly unknown strangers assumes when given access to rifle through one’s deepest secrets on whatever spiritual whimsy they decide upon. One should most certainly fear ever leaving a group such as this after having naively opened themselves up in trust to their “approved” brand of secret gathering counselling staff.  If the world learned nothing else from the child sex scandal amongst the priesthood of the Catholic church during the early 2000’s, it was certainly the realization that no one in any God given office is above reproach and scrutiny, and should never be trusted to operate based on the supposed pure motives of his or her “spiritual” office. The question everyone should be asking is what higher authority among men are these elders answering to and sharing their secrets with, and are they in turn willing to and actually share their secret lives with the congregation they proclaim to need a complete and transparent communion with?

Granted, XCF willingly confers that if a member must seek out private, professional help, they can be referred to an outside agency or other professional party, but of course this would immediately raise the alarm for any serious XCF member as harbouring a secret sin life of some sort, and more than likely put their good standing into jeopardy.

One final note of irony to address here is the “unauthorized access” any internet user will come across when presented with what used to be the Xenos confidentiality statement page of their web site.(Link here, may or may not still work...https://www.xenos.org/about-xenos/faq/confidentiality)

(However an archived version of this page from 2016 can be viewed here..----confidentiality )

What once must have been their claim of authority to access the secrets of their members, is now apparently a secret in and of itself.  They can, in effect,  keep secret the reason why no one else in their church should be allowed to keep secrets. Once again, if that doesn’t seem cultish, then nothing is.

Singularity of Purpose