Re: New Song City Central - Tacoma, WA
Date: March 17, 2010 12:10PM
I have been involved with this church in a couple of different forms, and am very familiar with alot of the topics discussed in this forum.
1. City Central, the 'quasi-leadersip' (as a previous poster called them), and a fair amount of research:
It started with an unsettling feeling I got when I met Chris Hippe at an event that he was leading. I hadn't met him before. First impression was...charismatic, well groomed, clean cut, and an exciting speaker to listen to, but in watching him I couldn't let go of that he seemed to lack one thing that I really got used to in a church leader...an energy of love and excitement for Christ in his eyes, and in his teachings. One on one conversations demonstrated a lack of patience and kindness as well. In church, an element of power/authority was thrown in.
2. Demon possession and 1/2 of the congregation walked out during service:
I wasn't there, nor wouldn't have a clue about it, except that Chris talked about the story more than once in front of me. He specifically said that they "lost 1/2 of their congregation when a clear demonic possession had presented itself and taken over right then and there". I've gone to church my whole life, and I just can't imagine...think about what catastrophic events would have needed to take place for anyone to walk out on the service, let alone 1/2 of them!
3. Original design teaching, and prophetic prayer:
This is a team that prayed with me for God to tell them what my original design is so that they can relay this to me. Oddly enough, each time they were told something completely different about me. I went into this wondering if I was bipolar...halleluah! The truth shall set you free!!!...........???
4. Freedom classes...these were the subjects taught:
Strongholds, generational sin, releasing entitlements and personal rights.
Wait a minute...doesn't #1 and #2 contradict themselves? They pray for ME to learn all about how God made ME, and then I'm taught why I am/have been in sin for embracing it. Lucky I have them to teach me how to rid myself of these answers from God! *contemplation*...am I being prepped for submission?
Proved to be too much for me to just sit on and not atleast do a little investigating.... call it lack of faith if you will, but I think it leans on the contrary...
Did you know....
Church orginaztion started with Warren Riches under Duane Wells in the 70's.
Warren's son (Mike) marries Duane's daughter (Cindy).
Mike Riches and Brian Brennt (from PLU) start New Song, etc.
They have falling out (2008?), both change churches, and have both since moved again, but this time out of state for Brian(Hawaii) and out of country for Mike(London UK).
Both still teach Original Design and prophetic prayer with their Freedom books and manuals they co-wrote. Mike and Cindy changed the name of it back to Jesus Ministry, but with an umbrella heading of "THe Sycamore Commission" (.org). Mike and Cindy's new church in the UK adopted their teachings, which caused many members to leave the new church.
I've not met any of the above people so I was thinking these were older people...mostly because of how many times they have changed churches names and orginizations, and that this much damage everywhere seems like it would have taken decades to incur.
Wrong...although Mike has a couple years on him, Brian and his wife still have kids under 10! That's not old!
Brian Brennt left the leadership of City Central in the hands of Chris Hippe (a car salesman that is currently 34 years old, went to PLU, and his father is a Lutheran pastor in Federal Way), Aaron Barker (is a singer/songwriter and has an album under the label called "City Central Records", same age as Chris, went to PLU, his father was a Lutheran pastor in Yakima), Bruce Buskirk (an attorney from the same town as Brian Brennt in OR), and now includes his son Ryan Buskirk (same age as Chris and Aaron), whom moved from same town in Oregon to Tacoma to be a part of the church.
Catalyst Training School's top instructor listed is....Chris Hippe.
Freedom Classes instructor is....Chris Hippe.
City Central's church service..... who sits up in the front row all by himself like most pastors do...Chris Hippe.
Facebook has a plethera of information....specifically who's friends with who.....
Chris Hippe and his wife
Aaron Barker and his wife
Brian Brennt and his wife
Mike and Cindy Riches
and even Gabriel VW from these posts are all intertwined and friends with eachother
My issue is this: With their ages, they haven't had nearly enough life experience at this point to be even know what to do with the power and authority they have. They also don't seem to be even close to being spiritually mature, they only just attended school in 2007 for their Faith studies. (none of them are labeled 'Pastor', what are their crudentials exactly? I don't see them listed anywhere) This is incredibly dangerous in my eyes! I can understand them not seeing that, but what about the Brennt's and Riches? Shouldn't they have had better discernment than to leave a couple of college buddies in charge of directing a church and ALL of it's minestries? Apparently not. Could this be some sort of underground secret PLU group? In many, many way this orginization screams red flags and cult like behaviors. The material alone is pretty extreme. It leaves me wondering what the real intentions are of some (not all) of the leaders.
This whole situation truly terrifies me. For the people of the congregation and for the leaders alike. I don't think that anyone involved sees the potential hazard this kind of environment creates (and in some cases, already has).
NLT is the version that seems to be used most at City Central, so I will quote from it....
Job 13: 7-10 (NLT)
Are you defending God with lies? Do you make your dishonest arguements for His sake? Will you slant your testimony in His favor? Will you argue God's case for him? What will happen when he finds out what you are doing? Can you fool Him as easily as you fool people? No. You will be in trouble with him if you secretely slant your testimony in His favor.
Proverbs 6: 16-19 (NLT)
There are six things the Lord hates-no, seven things he detests. Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who poors out lies, a person who sows dsicord in a family.