Re: New Song City Central - Tacoma, WA
Date: April 23, 2008 10:41PM
I'd like to add a little to the topic of these three churches: New Song City Central, Crossing Community Services, and Destiny City Church (formerly Clover Creek Bible Fellowship)
I was a member and actively involved in all three of these churches (mainly New Song and the Crossing) for two years. I moved to Washington state to be a member there and immediately moved into a ministry house owned and run by the church where I paid rent and was expected to give all of my time outside of my secular job to the ministry.
These churches use their teaching of "Hearing God's Voice" abusively and to control their members. For example: if you are a person who desires to know and love Jesus and someone tells you that what they are directing you to do is FROM God, then you are obligated in your heart to do as they tell you b/c the church teaches that otherwise you are in "Rebellion".
Also, for anyone who is exiting this group of churches or has family members who are, I HIGHLY recommend review Robert Lifton's Eight Criteria for a group that uses thought reform and coercive persuasion, because these three churches meet EVERY single one of these criteria. Becoming aware of these criteria and spending time in the Word is what finally got me out.
And once I became aware of HOW in control of my life and my mind these churches were, I was so afraid that I fled in the middle of the night, b/c I KNEW that if I spoke to leadership they would tell me that the "Enemy was trying to deceive me" and I would have stayed!! They owned me!! I had given them all of myself.
In their "prayer times" where they claim to "hear from God", which I believe is truly a spirit of divination, they expect the person being prayed for to be as vulnerable as possible and in the time there I Shared the deepest parts of who I am as a believer and as a human being with these leaders. I could not make any major, or really any minor decisions without getting their approval.
It is an incredibly Subtle form of Manipulation. All of the rules (as in most cults and controlling groups) are unspoken. Most likely NO ONE in the church would ever tell you outright that to leave the church you are turning your back on God. It is an unspoken rule. The members all think it. Whether they admit it or not, if they questioned whether they should remain there or not, they would stay due to the fact that they felt if they were leaving they were "turning away from God" and would not experience "true freedom" that only their church offers.
Also, the material that they claim to have written themselves called now "the Freedom Manual" is all stolen from Neil T Anderson and his Freedom in Christ Material.
As someone previously posted, there is no true freedom in these churches, just a deeper and deeper dependence on these churches, the leaders, and the "revelation" from their prayer times.
I know many people are finally getting out of the churches, praise God.
I have been gone for one year and it has been very painful as I was cut off from all of my friends in the church and labeled a heretic, simply for leaving. My husband and I were slandered publicly from the pulpit.
These three churches are SPIRITUALLY ABUSIVE and from all understanding that I have come too, they Are a CULT.
They have damaged hundreds and hundreds of lives, families, and marriages.
My heart has been so broken. I entered these churches passionate for Christ, I was deceived by their teachings, and the less passionate I was about Jesus, the more they affirmed me.
It is a bait and switch, you go in looking for Jesus, and one day when you have given them your time, your identity, your passion, your hope, your life truly, you look up and see that Jesus is no where to be found in that church.
And for the people who have asked about church splits, the church has split, it used to be three churches unified and due to the fact that the pastors cannot agree about anything they have gone their separate ways.
Oh and one more thing, the pastors of New Song City Central have recently been holding meetings for people who have questions, and when the members arrive at the meeting they are told that they are not to question anything and if they want to they are welcome to leave.
I'll have more soon, but this is all I have time to post today.
Anyone who is coming out of these three churches may find the book "The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse" by Jeff VanVonderen and Dave Johnson extremely helpful. It has really helped me in recovering my faith from the abuse that I underwent in these churches..
Also, counseling with a good Christian counselor is just about a must, its ok, but I know... it is so hard to leave, I was only there two years and I know there are some wonderful people there who love Jesus who have been there much longer than I was that are leaving and I am so sorry for the pain I know they must be enduring.