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Where Does My Tithe Money Go? (Kelly takes a vacation)

When you give to a church it's usually understood that the money goes to support the church's finances and keep it running.  Being a...

Friday, June 23, 2017

PRIDE Weekend and The Crossing Church

As those of us in the Twin Cities begin our celebration of the GLBT community, as both members and allies, lets not forgot how The Crossing Church of Elk River, Minnesota views these beautiful humans.


Lets first look at their history.  On Kelly Dykstra's blog in 2005, referencing the Elk River Ministerial Association meeting that there was "a woman minister with a gay agenda trying to get in.  Ick,"  Did you catch that?  "ICK"  Then in 2013 they had Hannah Parks speak where she preached against homosexuality from their stage. 


In October of 2016 I obtained their LGBT Statement which in short says "homosexuality is wrong in the eyes of God".  This was a comment about The Crossing from that blog post, "this is why I left the church as well. I had the Unfortunate interaction with a church members who went on to tell me I was abused sexually as a child and that is why I was gay. he belittled me and told me my only way to heaven was to be straight and throw myself into the church. Pastor Eric and his wife I had several conversations with about this and their teachings. telling someone they accept you then treat you like less than is not the way to be Christian in my mind. they are hypocrites that want your money and throw you away when they are done with you."  


Their sermon series this week even addresses this:
WEEK TWO: Can I be gay and be a Christian?
-Is God anti-gay?
-Are gay people condemned to hell?
-What does the Bible really say about LGBTQ issues?
-How should a church deal with such a touchy subject?


I promise you that you will not be accepted, affirmed or loved.  

For those of you who still profess to be Christian, and are being pummeled by The Crossing or other churches, I would highly encourage you to research Matthew Vines.  He has done much more extensive research than these bigots and may help give you the true acceptance you deserve.  

The Crossing wants your money (most of all), your time and your dedication.  But stop giving any of these and they will spit you out and forget you.  This is a blog of staff members who left a year ago.  Horrifying, sad and typical of their behavior.

My friends; go enjoy your PRIDE weekend and celebrate who you are!  Fuck trying to find a way to get in with these small minded jerks.  You are perfect as you are.

Friday, December 23, 2016

My Last Christmas at The Crossing Church

Author's Note: This post will be a bit more personal and not as many direct jabs at The Crossing Church (though there will be some).  I'm fully carb loaded, with wine in hand, and ready for the comments about how I'm so "bitter" and have "hardened my heart".  

My last Christmas as The Crossing Church was December of 2010.  It was a Christmas Eve service, candlelight I believe, and I was stressed as always.

Going to church The Crossing Church as a family was difficult.  First, there are people directing you in the parking lot.  This is nice and fine if you have a small vehicle.  My husband drives a large truck, and without fail there was some 15 year old forcibly directing my husband into a spot that would never fit the truck.  My husband would be mad, would ignore the direction (you are supposed to submit to their authority, even if they are idiots, so my nerves would go to high), and park where he wanted.  I would be praying the entire time for God, Jesus, someone to please give us a truck-sized spot so we could obey and not get in trouble.  Never.  Not once.

Next came the seating Nazis.  In accordance with Crossing policy (or rather copying what Elevation Church does), people would be seated front to back with no spaces in between.  This was to give a feeling of high energy and excitement.  Well fuck...my husband has a bad knee and needs to be on an end to straighten his leg.  He would ask the seating person kindly to seat him on an end, up front, in back, any end as long as he wasn't cramped in the middle.  They would begrudgingly do it but not without a shit ton of shame.  But then inevitably they would need to fill more seats and try to force us to the middle.  It was a fight every single week and this time was no exception.

I didn't want to obey them, I fully saw my husband's point, but I felt The Crossing was my last hope in trying to do the Christian thing, and felt compliance was the only way I could make it to the other side.  As we sat down I was arranging my coat, gloves and purse, and looked down to see the diamond had fallen out of my wedding ring.  My eyes welled with tears.  In any other place or situation I would have asked for help in looking for it.  I would have asked for the lights to be turned on, or asked that people search for it after the service.  But I didn't feel I could do that here.  We were supposed to be depopulating hell and not worried about material things.  I felt I'd be shamed to ask.

Now my diamond wasn't some massive full carat or anything special.  It was a chip at best.  My husband had proposed on Christmas Eve.  We were poor and he used all he had to buy me that ring.  It was my chip.  Now here we were on Christmas Eve again and it was gone forever.  I prayed, "Why?  Why?!  Am I really not allowed anything?  WHY!?!"  The silence permeated me.

That was to be the last Christmas Eve in a church for me.  I don't miss it.  I don't miss a thing.




Sunday, November 27, 2016

Eric is Unshakable! Well not really....

The Crossing Church's latest sermon series "Unshakable" is out and {yawn} it's the same tired stuff we've heard for years and years.  Lets look at some highlights:

"I give even when I don't have any money!"   Really, Eric?  Tell us about the last time you didn't have money.  You are manipulating people at their lowest point, without money, to keep up your lifestyle.


"It seems like our culture is constantly telling women that beauty is found in the exterior....don't go out and be ugly...."  Is anyone else hearing Trump's voice?  (I digress.)  I don't see how you can dare preach on obsession with outward beauty when your wife uses half of her Instagram posts humble bragging for people to compliment her.  And "don't go out and be ugly"??  Fuck.

 "they are going to lie about you, twist the truth..."   And there we go!  This is the one we've been waiting for.  How many sermons, how many times a year, does Eric have to say that someone has been wrongly slamming on him?  For the facts, not lies, as to why people have made critical comments about Eric Dykstra and the Crossing Church; this post details them well with many links to sources.  

Eric, you were not "called out for your faith".  You were rightly talked about in negative terms because of your actions.  The audacity that instead of fully owning all the things you did as an abusive leader, but instead saying it's for God, is disgraceful and horrific.  

"For all of you that never get attacked for your faith, maybe you don't actually have any."  You are such an arrogant asshole!  I know many people of faith, true to their core faith, that do not get attacked. They aren't getting attacked because they aren't power hungry, manipulative, devious pricks!  


Same request, as always, please stop.

And remember Crossing minions; no commenting!  Eric's orders!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Kelly "Fights for a Girl"...sort of

I've been watching Kelly's Dykstra's new initiative "Fight for a Girl" with interest to see if this will actually be something of value and help for females or simply another way for Kelly to glorify herself.  The information is sketchy.

This seems to be their mission statement:
Fight For A Girl seeks to empower women globally to rise up into the calling of freedom on their lives. And we want you to be a part of it with us. We want to create a platform where we can learn how to fight for ourselves, our relationships, our neighbors, and our sisters on the other side of the world. We want to see you rise up, and we believe that as you do, the people around you will be freed to rise up, too. Our goal is to be a partner, a bridge, a resource, and an encouragement as we all open our eyes and join hands with each other. 

They frequently allude to money that is raised at the Twirl events, or through buying their ever growing amount of merchandise, in some way goes to "Fight for a Girl" yet dollar figures are never given and you aren't sure exactly who is being helped.  There was a scholarship fund to send a single mother to Crossing College, but again, this only gives money straight back to The Crossing!  Ca-Ching!

All this aside; Kelly actually had a heartfelt and poignant post after the election talking about what the loss meant to women.  She spoke about women rising up.  She spoke about being strong women.  She spoke candidly about her feelings.  Right when I almost had an ounce of respect for her the post was taken down. And this post was put up:


She was told by "close friends" (read = friends in power) that "the issues surrounding the candidates and parties are too volatile for this".  They are right.  The issues are volatile and this is why you should be speaking up!  Fuck your friends, Kelly.  You did nothing wrong.  Well until you cowered to the powers that be.

I do hope you "Fight for a Girl" one day but you sure aren't now.

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Crossing's LGBT Statement

The Crossing's LGBT Statement

I'll summarize for you; come worship with us, and certainly give us your tithe money, but we don't honor you as a human being in the slightest!  The play on words between Affirm and Accept is demeaning.  If you don't affirm a person for who they were created to be, something they have absolutely no choice in deciding, then you certainly don't accept them.  But hey, it's OK, we were onto your bullshit long ago.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Comments about The Crossing Church

Though advocates for The Crossing Church like to bash me and say that no one is reading this blog, or the others, and no one cares about what is being shared, I'd like to offer comments my blog and others have received from people that have left The Crossing Church and even those still attending.

The comments speak for themselves. (names redacted) 

Well of course they need extra mid week services, have you noticed the travel budget they have now? Seriously, it seems like they are on a plane 3x a month. Kelly has so much arrogance she can't control herself. Constant social media posts on their travels or her newest pair of shoes. I heard they don't even live in the community anymore, live in St. Paul so kid can go to fancy school. When folks were struggling with being upside down in their houses during the housing crisis, they upgraded to nice river home...and conveniently had a former staff member rent their old home. 

Has anyone noticed that Eric has only been there a few times all summer? I wish i had so much vacation time. Just really confused with where they are at these days. I think the Church has "jumped the shark". Still go and enjoy the 1x a month that the message is really strong. But eyes are wide open, our giving has cut in half. We give what feels right, not what Crossing presses for. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of great options. Wife and I are lifelong Catholics and that situation is a total mess...much worse than the Crossing in my opinion.

Stay strong folks.
___________________

I do not feel free. I feel hogtied and permanently damaged.
_____________________

I'm glad someone is still speaking out about this poor excuse for a church
_________________________
You are exactly right! What is sick is that it's been going on since from day one. What is crazy is that they criticize you for saying it, when Peter and Paul did plenty of rebuking. Here is just two pieces of Scripture you will NEVER hear spoken there.

Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! (‭Acts‬ ‭8‬:‭20‬ NIV)

Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God. (‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭2‬:‭17‬ NIV)
____________________

I thought I was the only one that felt this and got anxious about going there.

______________________________
I left just after graduating from The Crossing College and noticing the exact same red flags you have. The final straw for me was hearing Eric teach a class about what constitutes good preaching. He was referring to the point that good sermons are scriptures preached in context and said, “But if you preach a verse out of context and it leads someone to Jesus, who the hell cares?”
I’ve also noticed over the last year that things were being preached way out of context. As soon as I stepped down from leading The Shop in St. Cloud and serving on cameras the Dykstras quit talking to me and acknowledging me in the office.
I saw them two weeks after I left and Kelly made a passive-aggressive comment about how she hadn’t seen me since she handed me my diploma (my Associates Degree) and Eric just avoided looking at me and didn’t speak one word to me.
Very classy and mature. I finally heard from Tracy this week only because she suddenly misses me (she got her new intern from TCC).
No one else from the core circle talks to me or acknowledges me
Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you guys have found a new church where you are appreciated and loved without strings attached.
I’m crying so hard and thank and bless each of you for doing this. I thought I was alone. I should have listened to Chris long time ago but being old as I am didn’t want to think I still had not yet found my church home. I don’t want to go anymore, I do have been for reasons unknown to me shunned first by Eric now Kelly. My daughter has been helping in kids ministry on Wednesday when not even a member of the church. I introduced her to Etic and Kelly and Etic actually turned away, Kelly actually said hi. She used to greet me with a hug and say hi beautiful lady now she sees me and I swear she’s ditching me. She even at one point told me Eric has a soft spot in his heart for me. Do I give no, have signed up two times but every time a big fat booming no comes at me so I withdrew. I have more issues because of how violence in kids ministry is alloweed, I pray no child is hurt, I have been even got one hell of a bruise under my right eye and not one person not even on staff not even Eric or Kelly asked me what happened. I was so hurt, I cried so hard felt like a stupid fool in thinking they cared. They went out of their way to be nice it seams to get me to give. When they found I was not going to they took it away. Things, changes are harder to do when your older but I swear to God Chris was told to by God for me and who ever else will read his post. Its so unlike Chris to post such a thing. Thank you much for your bravery and caring about others
________________________
This is so sad to read. Me, my husband and my children did alot for the Crossing but it was for the people too. But I was so burnt out, I needed a break and when I went to Pastor Bruce, I was told to break away from the broken addicts, not the church duties they needed me for. I want being heard, I was being manipulated and made to feel guilty. I relapsed and I needed them, my church family and friends but they were no where to be found! Even my sponsor, also a staff member and pastor,wouldn’t return my calls. And when my husband was confronted about my relapse, he was yelled at and told to not call anyone if we were in trouble unless we were sober. We were so hurt, so disappointed, so surprised. How was I so useless to them after all the love and praise and friendship I got for over 2 years while serving the church and Jesus? Well, it was just that…in their eyes I wasn’t serving Jesus, I was serving them and I was no longer useful because I was broken! I’m so grateful I learned that my faith needs to be in God, not people and certainly not a church who has no faith in people!
Thank you for sharing!
_____________________________
When we left, I did notice something. I don’t know if I was shunned, as I had already committed to leading my new church’s recovery ministry, and was very busy getting that off the ground. I will say that my brothers and sisters in the recovery program were and are still a part of my life, though I don’t see them all that much. The other guys and gals I figured were watching out for their own flocks, as I was in a different fold now. I was mostly in Zimmerman and Princeton, and very rarely in elk River, so you didn’t see some of the politics I kept hearing about. All in all, I hold no ill will toward any of those guys. But I feel for all of you who were hurt, and I believe you all were, and are not crazy. I will tell all of you to not hold all that stuff in, but give it to God, and pray it off with someone. Because, contrary to what it sounds like you were told, He wants all of you, not just your money, not your service, He wants your heart! And He is the only One who can know your hearts:) Gods love to all of you!
______________________
Sad how the cycle continues year after year, person after person, family after family.
I’m curious what those that have recently left thought when we did the “double crossed at the crossing event or when it was all over the news with the warnings of the cultish and money hungry behavior back in 2010 (crazy it’s been 6 years already)
Be thankful you got out of there, and I hope you all take the time to grieve and heal.
PS.. If you go into to a “Church” website and it looks and sound like the crossing….. Do yourself a favor and stay away. These places are all set up exactly the same.
_____________________
I was pissed off and I thought you all were overreacting about some perceived hurt that you felt due to something not going your way.
I thought to myself, “How dare they go after the place where I recommitted my life to Christ, where I obtained sobriety, where I rediscovered my love for my wife, where my marriage was healed, where my daughter was baptized, and where I could help others”.
I was hurt by the thought that your allegations could be true, I was angry that you all were attempting to shake the foundation of the only stability that I had felt in years, and I was terrified at thought of being duped after investing so much.
My world had been shaken up so much over the years, I couldn’t bear the thought of going through yet another shake up.
I am no longer mad now though.
I get it now and understand the place where you were coming from.
I know what your motive was.
How?
Why?
Because I had my own experience, but nothing you guys said back then was going to change my mind and prevent that from happening.
I had to go through what I did so that I could grow in my relationship with Christ.
Like you though, I too tried to warn people and save them, and like you, I was met with resentment and abandonment.
Why?
Because people felt the exact way toward me that I felt toward you all when you first spoke out.
I fractured people’s worlds with my words, and they were mad.
Now, I am seeing some of those that were angry with me, leaving because of their own experiences.
Instead of being spiteful toward them for their treatment of me, I have thank God for bringing them to their own realizations, so that they could move on and continue growing in the Lord.
We have to trust God that He will awaken people to whatever they need to be alerted to…and not just in regard to The Crossing, but to some of the things we encounter in this life in general.
I also had the recent realization that perhaps my being vocal about my experience hurt someone else’s walk with Christ, and that bothered me to no end.
I’m not saying that those that left are wrong in sharing their stories, but I know that I was too aggressive about it, and while my intentions were good, I should have considered the ramifications a little more than I did.
At the end of it all, God is sovereign, and believe it or not, people do come to wholly love the Lord at The Crossing.
Like I said, we just need to trust Him and His plan.

___________________________
My only advice to anyone hurt by The Crossing is to allow the process of healing. Allow yourself to feel the feelings, think the thoughts, and express the anger. Going through the stages and processes of grief is necessary. It never goes away completely but it does get better. Spiritual abuse hits you at the very core of your being. It is the worst kind of abuse. Many of us left and not long after realizing the truth, felt shame and guilt. Working through those feelings with loved ones can help you toward forgiveness, not for the abusers sake, but for your own. These wounds are very deep and need a lot of tender care. Be free in Christ and let Him help you heal. Holding onto resentment will only hurt you in the end. I know that from experience.


Monday, September 26, 2016

Memories of The Crossing Church

It has been over 5 years since I darkened the doors of The Crossing Church in Elk River, Minnesota.  I see it frequently as I drive by for my work on occasion.  The new building, where they manipulated so many out of their hard earned money in Code of the Samurai, is up and shining in the sun.  I initially thought they'd be sorry for their actions and go back to the old days of reaching out to the broken.  There were some apologies but it's back to business as usual.  Though many are still leaving, and for the same reasons we spoke of years ago, they are quite skilled at getting in a new pack of ignorant wide-eyed fools (I used to be one) to financially support their rise to the top.

I've pondered for years now as to when the change happened and why it happened.  Yes, they got involved with Joel Osteen and saw dollar signs, but it was before that.  Yes, Eric wanted to compete with Steven Furtick, but it was before that.  I think I've finally figured it out.

You stopped serving your people and made the people serve you.


The Crossing Church wasn't always a money hungry group of vain "pastors" more concerned with image and your tithe money than the pain and suffering in your life.  Here is a short list of good memories I had at The Crossing Church and why I stayed as long as I did:


  • The offering wasn't pushed.  In fact, they used to say that if you were in need you could reach in and grab some cash to get you through.  Now I do understand that they no longer allow this because people are putting their credit card information on the "connectvelopes" (Oh hell....I just can't with that one.)  Reasonable but another reason it's not the place it used to be.



  • SHED.  This was a challenge to get your personal possessions down to 100 items.  You were allowed to determine what that meant to you and your family, but the idea was to get rid of clutter and ultimately give the excess to others.  The Crossing did this as a church and sermons were preached on it.  I'm a natural giver so I was all over this.  My entire family "shed" a full truck and trailer's worth of stuff.  We were told there would be a semi at the church that day to give the items (there wasn't - the whole thing was a cluster-fuck) but we were still able to give to a local charity.  It felt like something Jesus would do.  How are those 100 items Eric & Kelly?

  • There was a sense of community.  You could speak to the pastors, any of them, on a one-on-one basis.  They knew your name.  They seemed to care.  They were actual humans and not faces on a highway billboard.

  • It was fun.  Now I know the super legalists freaked out about their "worship" and giving sermons with practical application instead of "unpacking scripture", but it was helpful.  You wanted to go back.  For someone who has had a bible shoved down their throat from birth, it was a breath of fresh air.

Take a look at yourselves Crossing.  Think back to when you first started and compare it to today; are things better?  Has anyone really been saved?  Yes, you've "dunked" many but what happened to them after they dried off?  Can you chill your enormous egos for one damn moment to see the damage you've caused?  I hope you can.  I truly do.