I don't know if anyone will get this message as it's been a year since this forum was published. I used to be a member of this church. I'll describe some things and let you decide if it warrants cult status.
1.) Typical denominations are typically regarded as "religious".
2.) There are classes taught. Some classes can't be reached unless you take previous classes. For example you can't participate in a music class untill take the classes known as Freedom 1 and Freedom 2.
3.) Pastor frequently builds sermons on what he supposedly heard from God.
4.) Members are taught to hear the voice of God.
5.) Very involved use of small groups and hierarchy. You are taught to submit to the authority of group leaders.
6.) Prayer often occurs in groups. Various members of the group attempt to hear the voice of God to listen for a sin issue in one of the group members lives.
7.) After a sin issue is discovered the individual must pray loudly to "break" the sin.
8.) Intense pressure to be involved in church activities. Lack of involvement is considered a sin known as "passivity"
9.) Intense pressure to live with other members of the church.
10.) Church activities take priority over other considerations in a persons life. Intense pressure to sacrifice time for the church.
I left this church because the pressure to move out of my house was too great. I was also asked to do favors like help a group leader by picking up his yard. I was looked down upon for not sacrificing time to go evangelizing at the nearby high school. I hope this helps you out.
Everything here is true...
although i never felt "pressured" to serve... i always felt that serving was a part of being a Believer... as written in James where faith is shown in action... Likewise, serving is something that should be done in love and is a form of "prof" so-to-speak, that we are of the Lord.
"Passivity" is a household word at New Song... and if you are not involved with ministry you are labeled as such.
I can partly be thankful of such pressure because i was in the Word constantly and i feel the study is the reason why i was able to have eyes to see...
I was one of the guys who lived in a house full of guys (moved in on my own accord to try to be "more spiritual")... in fact, it was a duplex formerly known as the "Salad Bar" later known as the "Potters House"... At the time it was kind of a prestigious rank to live in a house of 8 guys who all went to New Song... accountability is one thing but it should NEVER be about A church or A man... only about God