"Church community is healthy, but not when you start worshipping the church itself (legalism) over God. That's what a lot of this sounds like to me."
As much as XCF prides themselves on their dedication to sound biblical theology and doctrine, it seems quite clear to the outside observer some of
the obvious doctrinal blunders that they seem to be engaging in, and as it’s been noted as well in this writing their rather biased approach towards the issues of Church discipline (gossip) and the role of the Holy Spirit, it seems there is an
idolatry component that is unavoidable in the whole realm of their particular exclusive spirituality outlook as well. An idol then can be described as anything that displaces or supplants the sole importance of God and His desire for our lives, and in the
case of the New testament church, the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Paul himself confronted this very attitude that XCF practices in his first letter to the Corinthians, and specifically..
1 Corinthians 1: 12-13 (NIV)
What I mean is this: Individuals among you are saying, “I follow Paul,” “I follow Apollos,” “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you
baptized into the name of Paul?
[(NAS) Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.”]
1 Corinthians 3: 3-4 (NIV)
…For since there is jealousy and dissension among you, are you not worldly? Are you not walking in the way of man? For when one of you says, “I follow Paul,”
and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere men?
[(NAS) For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men?]
dynamic presents itself as far as Xenos is concerned is their outright and blatant behavior that XCF is somehow the exclusive and only real Christian church in the greater Columbus area, if not the world itself! And again though one won’t hear
this doctrine taught or proclaimed, there can be no denying the obvious behavior that is permeated throughout every exchange that exist within almost every relationship with members of XCF. Even their own defense that is given as a response to their critics
in the Columbus Dispatch (see “contradictions” link above) quoted here….
“There was a consistent theme that people have been hurt by our church in some way and we are grieved that these individuals
are suffering. Finding a church that best fits you or serves your needs is very difficult but worth the effort in the end."
smacks of an arrogance that seems to say that’s it’s unfortunate
that these people who claim to have been hurt by Xenos just weren’t tough enough for the Xenos brand of Christianity, as if they are the marines in the world of churches. Imagine this same sentiment expressed by a restaurant.
“It’s too bad our food made you sick. Finding a restaurant that will satisfy your hunger without giving you food poisoning is hard to do. “
This would be considered an insane ad campaign!
And while one could easily point out that restaurants and churches are two different things, Jesus makes it very clear that unlike a restaurant that sells food for the exchange of money, Christians are called to give away the free gift of salvation and message
of God’s love at almost any cost to themselves, even their own lives, all throughout the gospels in passages like Matthew 25 alone. And most certainly not to alienate hundreds, if not thousands of would be members who in any other Christian church or
setting would be, or actually are, welcomed with open arms of grace and understanding.
And herein then lies the idolatry component. When the operations or principles of the Church have exceeded or violated the guidelines of Jesus Himself as laid out
all through the New Testament. Once again the issue of human pride vs. the lordship of Jesus can be seen to be in play here (see “singularity” link above) as is the case when members of XCF are shunned and evicted for breaking house rules as simple
as not attending enough meetings, or not wishing their private phone and computer usage monitored by an authoritarian leadership. When did “confessions” of sins become “necessary exposure” and “voluntary” participation become
“mandatory” in any New Testament guideline for proper or healthy church operation?
As far as the 1 Corinthian passages stated above, one could argue that the claim of being “of Xenos” is not the same as that of these people who
were declaring loyalty to a single person, but it is without question the motive behind the attitudes that are in direct opposition to Paul’s rebuke, and namely..
there is jealousy and dissension among you,
simply this idea that XCF again represents the only true and exclusive, or perhaps “real” Christianity that is somehow superior to all other churches, and thus (where true jealousy and dissension occur) in opposition to them, and this again
is made clear in their claim above of people who can’t handle the XCF methods needing to find some other church that best suits them. Imagine the arrogance of this one group of 6000 people who are mostly white college students in Columbus, Ohio considering
themselves like this in light of over 2000 years of Christian expansion and billions converted as well as the over 1 billion in existence today!
And as far as the claims of loyalty to certain individuals, it is without question that one of the key components
to achieving power and authority in XCF is direct influence, either by discipleship or relationship, to Dennis McCallum himself. One can only feel sorry for those individuals who have devoted years of their loyalty to this group only to be passed over by this
type of favoritism. One would wonder why in a group of 6000 people that has probably reached at least thousands more, the only ones found to be worthy or capable of the top positions are somehow always related to the McCallum clan. Or perhaps once again, this
is simply the result of the standard cult practice of a corrupted leadership.