Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It's all about Control

To the Reader
My desire in writing this blog is to educate and prompt the reader to consider & be able to think outside the box of what their "spiritual leader" would have them believe. I care about my friends who still attend the crossing church and I want them to know that I love them. I do believe my friends at the crossing are following Jesus.  It is not my intent to hurt or discourage them in their faith walk. I only ask that when they read this, they read it with an open mind.  It is my concern & my prayer that no other seeking person would ever again experience the abuse from a spiritual leader.

The Early Church
The original church was set forth as a group of Christ followers who were so touched by their own experience that they were compelled & excited to go out and minister hope to the lost, healing for the hurt, and love to the unloved. They shared the news of Jesus's sacrifice and unconditional love, bearing our sins upon himself (by dying on the cross) so the lost could be reconciled with God the Father. The church began to grow as people heard the good news.  The church was a place where  people experienced God's grace, they grew in faith and were equipped to minister God's grace to others. People's lives were so profoundly changed that they went out and ministered to the lost & hurting in their spiritual gifting.  The church was a safe and compassionate place where HOPE is offered.

In Contrast
The church was never meant to be a control based environment set up to perform in the name of accomplishing a stated "mission". 
The church was not intended to push & drive people to DO more, or to guilt people to GIVE more, nor a place where people are held under tight reign.  A pastor is someone who is able to encourage, equip & launch others into their own God given spiritual gifts, talents and visions, not manipulate others to fulfill his own vision or dream.

Jesus reconciles, Satan Divides
A healthy and safe church encourages families to worship God together, and would never endorse anyone to cause family discord by convincing someone to quit school (with just weeks remaining), move out of their parents home, and get married against their parents wishes. I am aware that crossing leadership has convinced others to quit school as well (against their parents wishes) and devote their time to the crossing.  

One of the commandments in the Bible requires us to honor our parents. From a spiritual leader's perspective, what possible justification is there to allow & encourage this behavior? Would Eric allow & encourage this type of dishonor from his staff toward himself? The church wasn't meant be an organization where people are told to leave when they choose not to participate in a "giving commitment". Yes, this happens at the crossing!  The church should never be a place where people are told they are not welcome to attend just because they speak up when they have a "special needs" seating preference!  The church is not the place where anyone should learn that one of the spiritual leaders is actively telling people that you are "toxic" and mentally ill!  A healthy church encourages people to memorize the Bible, not require their "Community of Leaders" to memorize 14 points of "The Code".

Spiritual Abuse
Abusive churches are characterized as mission oriented, many times with an "us vs them" mentality. Those who question are removed. It's possible to be so determined to defend a spiritual place of authority that the leader wounds or is spiritually abusive to anyone who doesn't behave the way they want. Abusive churches,are characterized by strong, control-oriented leadership. These leaders may use guilt, fear, and intimidation to manipulate members and keep them in line or to keep them driven. Followers are led to think that there is no other church quite like theirs. Group sacrificial giving (Code of the Samurai). and a united sacrificial experience is emphasized and dissent is not allowed. Rules and legalism abound. People who ask questions or don't follow rules dealt with harshly!

Not by Might
We are not saved by performance results, we are not saved by how many people come in the front door to fulfill the "mission" . We are not saved by big church buildings and multiple campuses. Ask yourself, is the crossing allowing you the time to seek God on your own so that you may become mature in your faith in Jesus? Are you too busy?  Is the Crossing really the "safe place where you can check out Jesus at your pace", the way the crossing claims each and every week from the stage?

For years people have been voicing their concerns regarding Eric's abusive leadership style!   Do your own research.  Make some calls on your own  Read the various blogs who are sharing their own concerns regarding Eric's abusive leadership.  I ask my friends at the crossing to open their eyes to why so many families have left.  I support the vision to reach the lost, but I do not condone the spiritual abuse to accomplish the "Mission".  The Bible teaches that we are saved by grace, so wouldn't it make sense for the church to operate in grace?  Eric always said that if the vision ever becomes about Eric, then we should run away.  Many are running!!!

I have SO much more I can share, and I will in future blogs. If you would like to know more about my experience while at he crossing, you may send me an e-mail at

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