Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Create Account now to join.
  • Login:

Welcome to the Online Debate Network.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 50
  1. #1
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    9,272
    Post Thanks / Like

    Xenos: alternative Christian group or cult?

    Before this discussion, please take a look at

    http://www.xenos.org

    and (more specifically)

    http://www.xenos.org/aboutxenos/faq/cult.htm

    The debate here is wether or not these individuals constitute a cult. I know several members in the Columbus, OH, area (where they seem to be based at the moment). The group has been around for a while and seems to be growing in members.

    For me, the jury is still out.

    Argument for non-cult: Xenos members seem to live relatively normal lives. They aren't all cloistered on some compound listening to chants & prayers 24/7. They have normal jobs, go to restaurants & bars, go shopping, etc. If you speak to a member of the organization, you'd probably never know they were part of Xenos unless they told you.

    So, on the surface everything seems fine.

    Argument in favor of cult: While Xenos members may blend in quite well in public, in private they are a little different. While they are free to associate with whom ever, they are most often found in the company of other Xenos members. The group that I encountered was of college age and had VERY strange living habits. They lived in a house big enough / with enough rooms to accomodate several of them. Instead of having their own rooms, they crammed into smaller rooms so that everyone had a room mate on the grounds that "it's not good for people to be alone". They even turned the attic of their house into a three bedroom living space even though the only way to get to the attic was through the one bathroom of the house. Very odd.

    The group's openness is questionable. While they are open to discussing certain issues of scripture with outsiders, there's a lot of "well, why don't you come to our meetings?" involved. In fact, it's hard to get information about what the group is all about and who leads it from individual members outside of meetings.

    Members are encouraged to date and marry one another often at (relatively) young ages. The college group that I briefly hung out with included three married couples all under the age of 21.

    EDIT: Finally, I find it peculiar that there is an entire page on their website declaring they're not a cult.

    As I said, the jury is still out for me. They appear to be a group of benevolent Christians who may employ a few cult-like tactics. On the other hand, they may be a cult hiding in plain sight.

    Your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    9,470
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Xenos: alternative Christian group or cult?

    It depends on what you mean by "cult". If you are using the modern definition of a relatively small religious group which uses aggressive or harassing tactics to recruit members, then from your description it does not seem to be. What are their beliefs in relation to mainstream Christianity?

  3. #3
    Owner / Senior Admin

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    19,318
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Xenos: alternative Christian group or cult?

    While they may seem "different"...their statement of faith appears to be traditional Christian: http://www.xenos.org/aboutxenos/ourfaith.htm

    Of course, there may be more to them than this...but on the surface at least...they appear to be "normal" other than the untraditional worship services.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
    Senior Administrator
    -------------------------

    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. - Thomas Jefferson




  4. #4
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Pray for our troops
    Posts
    5,340
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Xenos: alternative Christian group or cult?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric
    Your thoughts?
    Well...just from the Website they seem like just another non-denominational group...but they are organized and structured like a denomination with elders, etc.

    The group seems embarked on a journey to live like early Christians, but they seem to be missing a few things and are stumbling to find what they seek. Many indiviuals and groups - whole congregations in some instances -- who embark on such a spiritual journey finally come to realize the Orthodox Church in America is in fact the Church of the early Christians. WHole congregations have been chrismated into the OCA and many parishes have numbers of indiviuals who discovered Orthodoxy through such a search.

    What I did not see in anything about their explanation of home churches is that home churches were necessary because in the early centuries because being a Christian then could get you killed.

  5. #5
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    With my Angel in Aurora
    Posts
    5,620
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Xenos: alternative Christian group or cult?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xenorinos
    "churchianity,"
    I love that word. Churchianity.

    They seem like a nice enough cult.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    12
    Post Thanks / Like

    Smile Re: Xenos: alternative Christian group or cult?

    Hello you guys, I just stumbled upon this thread and I wanted to comment. First off, I go to Xenos. Xenos is in NO way a cult, for many reasons. First of which is we aren't forced to pay tribute to the church. You don't become a "member" by paying some amount of money. We also don't have some compound, although this isn't required for a cult, it does help in defense against the statement. I cannot give any defense on the statement about the college groups, as i am in high school, but I can't imagine them being as you stated. The high school groups are just a casual meeting of friends and there are no fines or fees with that either. We also are not forced to attend the group. If you want to find out for yourselves without the bias of a member, go check it out! Xenos is very open the visitors, in fact the word Xenos is based off the Greek word Xenia for Hospitality. Come check us out, we don't bite! Also I don't even know if "Alternative Christian Group" would be appropriate. We are a non-denominational church. We teach what's in the bible, and nothing else. Everything taught is totally up to par with Christian belief. Also, we don't teach any racism or hatred towards any group, in fact the exact opposite is taught. Before you jump to assumptions about a group, check it out! Xenos is a Christian Fellowship church, no cult. Thanks guys if you have any questions feel free to ask ahead.

  7. #7
    Owner / Senior Admin

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    19,318
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Xenos: alternative Christian group or cult?

    Yeah, from what I gather Xenos is merely a group of non-denominational Christians who place a significant emphasis on fellowship. Xenos itself isn't a religion, it is a group of Christians if I'm not mistaken. So I see nothing problematic with them (in as far Christian doctrine goes).
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
    Senior Administrator
    -------------------------

    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. - Thomas Jefferson




  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    12
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Xenos: alternative Christian group or cult?

    Well look at it this way. Xenos is a CHURCH. not a group of people, a CHURCH. just like any other church, except the name is different. see? NOT a cult, NOT a group of people, a CHURCH. it's just like any other church, in fact there are SO many churches out there with almost the EXACT same beliefs, and those churches are called Christian churches. So when people say "a group of people" you might as well be saying "a cult." I don't mean to offend you, but that's how it sounds. Whether or not that's what you were saying, it comes off like that. If you are trying to describe it, just say "a church." simple as that. I'm honestly not sure what makes it seem like a cult. If someone could explain to me that would be cool so i can clear the air on any rumors or anything. Cool.

  9. #9
    Owner / Senior Admin

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    19,318
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Xenos: alternative Christian group or cult?

    Being a 'group' is not sufficient to make something a cult. So that isn't what I meant.

    I thought it was a national movement or organization, hence "group".

    But it would seem that it is a single church in Columbus, so yes, it would make more sense (and be accurate) to refer to Xenos as a church. But really, when you think about it, a church is a group of people with similar beliefs who come together for worship and fellowship. Being a "group" isn't a bad thing. It is the rest of the things that go along w/ being a cult that are dangerous.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
    Senior Administrator
    -------------------------

    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. - Thomas Jefferson




  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    12
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Xenos: alternative Christian group or cult?

    Yes I agree, and I even said that I didn't think you meant cult by saying group, I just wanted to make sure others didn't see it that way. And yes, it is not a movement, or a organization or anything like that. Simply a church with devoted Christians. When you look at a cult, ie Scientology you see a HUGE devotion factor. Half of my family is Scientology (well my mom's family, and I've never met any of them) and I know that they are very devoted. One of my mom's cousins turned away from Scientology and they were totally shunned by their family. If you leave Scientology, you basically are disowned by everyone you know. Xenos does not do anything like that, and if you leave, you leave. There is no penalty, and nobody will hate you for it, because you aren't leaving a group, you are stopping going to a church. Xenos is not a religion, and we don't hold our identity in the church. When someone asks what religion we are, we don't say "Xenosian" or "Xenoid" or whatever you want to say, we say Christian. I see absolutley no trace of cult like traits in our church. If their are any, if someone could please explain them to me that would be great so I can either prove or disprove the statement. Once again, if anyone has any questions about Xenos, feel free to ask me. I have been going their since I was 5. And also once again, I am not a "Member" of Xenos. I have no ID card that says so. I also noticed a statement in a previous post about levels or "elders." This is COMPLETELY false. Wherever you heard this, it is not true. There are no elders or leaders of the church. The closest this we have to that are the founders of the church. It's a few guys who started the church back in the 80's i think. They aren't looked up to as the "elders" and they don't have any holiness to them. They are just like any other person of the church. There is no hierarchy or social levels. It's not like you gain status by going for a certain amount of time or by paying a certain amount of money. EVERYONE is equal, including the leaders. So yeah anything else I can clear up?

    ---------- Post added at 01:58 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:34 PM ----------

    Also I just saw your post where you said "untradition worship services." what do you mean by that? (don't worry i'm not offended by this i just want to know what you mean)

  11. #11
    Owner / Senior Admin

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    19,318
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Xenos: alternative Christian group or cult?

    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
    Senior Administrator
    -------------------------

    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. - Thomas Jefferson




  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    12
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Xenos: alternative Christian group or cult?

    Oh I see what you mean by Worship Services. I was thinking more along the lines of teachings. Well then yes, it is strange but not too strange. There are many other churches that probably do the same thing. In fact, just down the road is a church called The Vineyard, and I'm pretty sure they have very similar practices to Xenos. Don't quote me on that one, but from friends that go there it seems as though they are very close in belief and practices. BUT if you read at least half way through that part of the page, you would see that it doesn't say we DON'T worship, however we just worship in a less traditional way. We use the New Testament as our template of worship, rather than the old Testament way which would be closer to Catholicism or Judaism. The point of our church is simply to spread the word of God, not to worship pictures and sculptures which really is almost Idolistic. This is one HUGE difference between Christianity and Catholicism, that we (we meaning Christians, not Xenos) don't use pictures and sculptures or do the rituals that some parts of Christianity and Catholicism do. The focus of many Christian churches, not just Xenos, is to only worship God, not man-made paintings. This is mostly found in non-denominational churches, such as Xenos. So although the services may be a bit unorthodox (ha no pun intended) they are not rare, and this does not contribute to the argument for Xenos being a cult.

    Anything else?

    Also, I noticed a typo in my previous post, i meant to say untraditional not untradition. fail. oh and it is nontraditional, not untraditional. my bad
    Last edited by alfonzo97; November 6th, 2011 at 07:08 PM. Reason: Fixing something....

  13. #13
    Owner / Senior Admin

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    19,318
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Xenos: alternative Christian group or cult?

    Quote Originally Posted by alfonzo97 View Post
    you would see that it doesn't say we DON'T worship, however we just worship in a less traditional way.
    lol hence my statement.

    Anything else?
    No, it's just another non-denom church, I see nothing wrong with it.

    I'm a big believer in a church having fellowship and learning from home studies (in fact, I participate in 2). It's where people grow and learn the most, through relationships with others.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
    Senior Administrator
    -------------------------

    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. - Thomas Jefferson




  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    12
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Xenos: alternative Christian group or cult?

    Yeah wow that must have seemed really dumb when i said that it was less traditional but not nontraditional. wow sorry i'm really tired. well what I meant was less like the traditional Christian practices, but it is not nontraditional for today. So yeah it sounded stupid, but what I meant was it's a newer type of fellowship, but it's not uncommon. And yes, you are correct, just another non-denom church. But I guess I can see how it comes off as a cult, devoted members (devoted to Christ, but some may see it as devotion to the church), different styles of teaching, but dispite the looks, it's really just a church. If anyone really wants to find out then just make a visit! It's a great church and it's been very successful. You may even say it's more successful than other Christian churches, as it started in the founders' house, then to a warehouse and now a very large and very successful church. You can't go anywhere in Columbus without seeing another Xenoid, as I call them. Once again, Xenoid is just a title for members of Xenos, and member not meaning a membership, just a church-goer. Even at school about 2 or even 3 of 10 people goes or has gone. I'm just curious, do you live near Columbus? or are you just commenting on the post just to comment?

  15. #15
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Pray for our troops
    Posts
    5,340
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Xenos: alternative Christian group or cult?

    I think what gets people's ears perked up are the living arrangements and youthful marrying of its members.

    Opus Dei has been accused of being a cult. It may be. Although part of the mainstream Roman Catholic Church, its members often live as part of a group of members of Opus Dei. Sharing tight spaces in apartments, working normal jobs -- it's very different.

    Additionally within the Orthodox Christian Church some small groups have chosen to be well...different. Living what is essentially a communal life, etc.

    QUESTION for the debate/discussion here: can a subgroup of a mainstream Church be called a "cult" --or rather, what might make it appear to be "cult-like".

    Personally, I see nothing wrong with these subgroups, but there is a danger in these smaller subgroups "going off the reservation". There is also an inherent danger in untrained lay people leading Bible study and/or worship services. There is a case here in the Chicago area of one such subgroup of a larger non-denominational Church where a lay bible study group leader turned that group into a cult and today he is up on child molestation charges. In addition to the minors -- he had sex with all the women members of his "flock".

    The House churches of the New Testament were held in houses because they had to practice their faith in secret. Still, those churches were under the authority of the Apostles, and then after the Apostles, their appointed successors -- local Bishops. Groups that went astray were corrected. If they could not be corrected -- they were excommunicated.

    The Orthodox Christian parish I attend began in a parishioner's home because there was no other space. However it wasn't just a bunch of lay people. The "church" parish began with two ordained priests, and as such both had Masters Degrees in divinity and/or theology as required by the national church, and had attended the national Church's seminaries. Additionally both priests had started the parish under the authority of the local Bishop.

    What makes a Church a Church? Fellowship is critically important, but by what authority does a group identify as "Christian"? Not long ago, that was an easy question to answer. Not so much today.
    "I've noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born" -- Ronald Reagan

    How can a moral wrong be a Civil Right?

  16. #16
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    139
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Xenos: alternative Christian group or cult?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    Before this discussion, please take a look at

    http://www.xenos.org

    and (more specifically)

    http://www.xenos.org/aboutxenos/faq/cult.htm

    The debate here is wether or not these individuals constitute a cult. I know several members in the Columbus, OH, area (where they seem to be based at the moment). The group has been around for a while and seems to be growing in members.

    For me, the jury is still out.

    Argument for non-cult: Xenos members seem to live relatively normal lives. They aren't all cloistered on some compound listening to chants & prayers 24/7. They have normal jobs, go to restaurants & bars, go shopping, etc. If you speak to a member of the organization, you'd probably never know they were part of Xenos unless they told you.

    So, on the surface everything seems fine.

    Argument in favor of cult: While Xenos members may blend in quite well in public, in private they are a little different. While they are free to associate with whom ever, they are most often found in the company of other Xenos members. The group that I encountered was of college age and had VERY strange living habits. They lived in a house big enough / with enough rooms to accomodate several of them. Instead of having their own rooms, they crammed into smaller rooms so that everyone had a room mate on the grounds that "it's not good for people to be alone". They even turned the attic of their house into a three bedroom living space even though the only way to get to the attic was through the one bathroom of the house. Very odd.

    The group's openness is questionable. While they are open to discussing certain issues of scripture with outsiders, there's a lot of "well, why don't you come to our meetings?" involved. In fact, it's hard to get information about what the group is all about and who leads it from individual members outside of meetings.

    Members are encouraged to date and marry one another often at (relatively) young ages. The college group that I briefly hung out with included three married couples all under the age of 21.

    EDIT: Finally, I find it peculiar that there is an entire page on their website declaring they're not a cult.

    As I said, the jury is still out for me. They appear to be a group of benevolent Christians who may employ a few cult-like tactics. On the other hand, they may be a cult hiding in plain sight.

    Your thoughts?
    They seem to me to be just another Protestant/evangelical sect among many. They describe themselves as being devoted to biblical study and believe the bible to be the "...inspired word of god," just like all the other sects out there. They are no more "cult-like" than any other Christian faith-tradition (which is to say all religious traditions contain some aspects of a cult).

  17. #17
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Seattle, Washington USA
    Posts
    6,345
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Xenos: alternative Christian group or cult?

    For me a Cult is mostly about how the members are treated. If they are free to come and go without harassment and if the group is fairly open about their practices, then I'd not designate them a cult. I choose not to judge based on how strange their beliefs sound because to me all religious sound pretty strange.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

  18. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    12
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Xenos: alternative Christian group or cult?

    Well then by your defininition we are not a cult. Actually by any definition we aren't a cult. Members of Xenos are treated very openly, and there is no penalty for leaving, and no fine or fee for joining. Nothing happens if you decide to stop coming. Anything else?

  19. #19
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Seattle, Washington USA
    Posts
    6,345
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Xenos: alternative Christian group or cult?

    Quote Originally Posted by alfonzo97 View Post
    Well then by your defininition we are not a cult. Actually by any definition we aren't a cult. Members of Xenos are treated very openly, and there is no penalty for leaving, and no fine or fee for joining. Nothing happens if you decide to stop coming. Anything else?
    I think you have acquitted yourself and your church quite well Alfonzo.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

  20. #20
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    12
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Xenos: alternative Christian group or cult?

    Well i better have! Lol i have gone there since i toddled

 

 
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Thou Shalt not: Murder or Kill?
    By Apokalupsis in forum Religion
    Replies: 76
    Last Post: June 15th, 2012, 11:47 AM
  2. What is a True™ Christian?
    By Dionysus in forum Religion
    Replies: 204
    Last Post: January 16th, 2008, 04:04 PM
  3. Religion and America
    By Feefer in forum Religion
    Replies: 331
    Last Post: January 8th, 2005, 09:24 AM
  4. Founding Fathers: Christian Influenced? YES!
    By Apokalupsis in forum Politics
    Replies: 60
    Last Post: August 21st, 2004, 09:24 AM
  5. Proof that the Christian God Does Not Exist
    By Booger in forum Religion
    Replies: 103
    Last Post: July 20th, 2004, 12:54 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •