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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...

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Dreams at The Crossing Church

I just listened to "Christmas Dreams", weeks 1 & 2, by The Crossing Church, and I was reminded of my last Christmas there back in December of 2010. As I walked into the auditorium I noticed I'd lost the diamond to my wedding ring. I scrambled looking under chairs but couldn't find it. We were being told to move along to get others in, and clearly my issue was of no concern. I held back tears, and stuffed down emotions, because I felt bad that I was concerned over a material possession when I was supposed to be worried about people going to hell. That moment felt ominous. It was like I knew the end was coming in some way. The next year I went all in; money, serving, begging and pleading for God's will. By June of 2011 everything exploded, I saw them for who they really were, and I left.

Some key points from week 1:

  • Mary had a willing hear to do the hard stuff.  “Do you?”
  • Your story will never be included if you’re not willing to do ‘whatever’.
  • Why would God even bother to talk, if he already knows you’re not willing to listen?
  • In what area of your life has your heart become unwilling? 
  • He will shine favor in the darkest places of your life but you must be willing…
  • He searches every thought and understands every thought we have.
  • The reason why you lost the joy of your salvation is because it’s not tied to a willing spirit.
  • (fake tears around 35:30)

Bottom line: IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT!!

At they end they had everyone take a Christmas dreams card from the back of chair.  You were to admit how you haven't been willing in some way to do all God wants.  (Assumption that you aren't giving your all.  This is always the fall back at church when your life isn't thriving...you're doing something wrong."  You were to write “I have had an unwilling heart about_______” and get up out of your seat, and set the paper on the stage up front.”  (Churches love making you make a public display of yourself.  They call it accountability and not the public shaming that it really is.)

Some key points from week 2:
  • A god given dream is about advancing Jesus, not advancing self
     “It’s our role on planet earth to make Jesus look good!”
  • God put you on earth to advance him
  • every time an interruption happens, it’s an inconvenience or an introduction to something better (really?  Every time, huh?)
  • "so I pray they get a job, and after they get the job we don't see them anymore, the job wasn't a dream, it was a temptation!" 
  • "can you please give me a raise so I can tithe less"  
  • power couple for Jesus (Eric & Kelly Dykstra)
  • willing heart to do all the hard stuff God asks us to do
So this sermon went on incessantly about not having your own dreams but only God's dreams.  Yet...the Dykstra's are sure thriving and living their dreams! Travel!  Luxury shoes! (Yes, the infamous Louboutins make another appearance.) Vacations!  It's interesting that though they preach on God providing increase; we're only seeing the Dykstra's increasing.  Are their staff buying new homes?  New cars?  Taking long international vacations?  

I found both sermons to be total bullshit and another way to manipulate people to give to them.  "Do _____ and God will _____."  No, he won't.  I was obedient. I did tithe.  I did give.  I did serve.  I was fucking willing.  Nothing happened.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Crossing Church - Playing on Fear and Greed for Cash

Anything new happening at The Crossing Church?  Same regurgitated bullshit?  Yep, pretty much. 

Play on what people want to hear, expose their fears and promise them everything will work out.  It's what we all want: a guarantee.  We want to be assured that we won't get sick and die too soon.  We want to believe our families and loved ones will always be safe and secure.  We want a safety net from all the worries about money.  

Everyone is scared whether they admit it or not.  Of course due to past experience, some are much more frightened than others.  But no one has the "peace that passes all understanding".  This is why people pray like maniacs, fast, tithe and submit themselves to controlling church leadership.  If I do ___ then I'll get ____.  As long as I pray the prayer of ___ then nothing bad will happen.  

Bad happens.  Bad happens all the time.  Bad happens all the time to good people.  What then?  Oh that means that you're being tested, or strengthened, or God thinks you can handle it. (cough cough)  

A few doozies from Pastor Eric Dykstra's "Big Ask Series":

25:27 – when you open the door to him he ALWAYS comes through
30:40 – as you begin to pray, he will begin to respond
31:30 – God will speak as clearly as a text message if you will talk to him
32:20 – you guys have Caribou coffee in the lobby, however in MY OFFICE we serve Starbucks, because I LIKE Starbucks  (...said the raging narcissist) 
36:14 – if you go out and pray in the moment you will have supernatural peace
36:46 – you've never prayed a prayer where nothing has happened...when you pray something always changes...every time.  (Nope.)

So when you're praying for your uncle to stop molesting you and he doesn't, then God changes your heart.  When you pray for a healthy baby and you have a stillborn, God changes your heart.  When you pray for financial help and you become homeless, God changes your heart.  Gee....see any possible error in this idea?  See how this might really hurt people who have been fucked by life?

I'm begging you Crossing, and all prosperity churches, stop using the people of your congregation for your gain.  Stop using people's fear to fund your vacations and new homes.  You are hurting people and one day you will pay dearly.  I ask you, I plead with you, to stop.  You aren't doing God's work; this is only for your ego and pocketbook.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Honor at The Crossing Church

I received a notice in my email this week that it was apparently an occasion and I should buy Eric & Kelly Dykstra some flowers for it.  I knew immediately what this was about and why I was receiving it.  In May 2011 The Crossing Church was preaching on submission and honor, and most specifically honoring and submitting to church leaders.  In these sermons it was said that in addition to honor, respect and submission, you should also do something nice for those that have helped you.  In the sermon illustration Pastor Eric Dykstra told how he randomly sent $50 gift cards to various pastors that helped him.  It was clear we were being told to give them gifts as well.  I was angry about it, as I was already giving a ton of money to The Crossing Church, and felt manipulated.  Yet I was all in and trying desperately to do what I felt their God wanted me to do.  I chose to send flowers as somehow this pissed me off a little less and yet I was still giving them the honor they demanded.  Apparently ProFlowers is never going to let me forget this. 

Like clockwork, a new honor series has started again. I took an Imodium and listened.

20:16 "honor God with your wealth" 28:38 authority 29:00 honor your father and mother 31:32 double honor 32:17 not to be treated as common 34:21 honor the HOUSE of God 38:00-38:26 - screaming 42:49 - fake crying 43:29 - "Jesus is hoping and praying you'd bring honor back. We're gonna show up, be on time, care, bring a gift, Do you realize there is not anybody in scripture who showed up for worship and didn't bring a gift?" "sure I'm gonna get on Facebook and Twitter and promote my church" "I'm not gonna apologize for promoting my church"
Big push at the end to come to church and show them the money!! Nothing new.
I've spent four long years calling out The Crossing Church on their bullshit. I did it because I care. I did it because I didn't want to see anyone else used and disposed of without a thought. Yet in recent days I've come to some revelations about how this is honoring myself and does using my time this way honor my goals.  

My blog has helped many leave and give confirmation to their doubts.  My blog has helped me process my time at The Crossing Church. My blog has been a fantastic outlet for my pain and annoyance.  Yet this morning I had a friend tell me "You can't change someone who doesn't see an issue in their actions.."  She's right.  Those still there sucking down the "free grace" kool aid don't want to see the hypocrisy.  If not at The Crossing Church, then they'd soak it in somewhere else.  They really believe they're on an amazing mission from God and this fuels their desire to go all in.  I get that.  I was there too.  

There is a sanskrit saying that goes, "Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu".  The loose translation, "May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all."

I know I've helped people find their freedom.  I now choose to be free of you, I'm free of your dogma, I'm free.  It's time to honor myself.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Missing Sermon(s) at The Crossing Church - Part 2

The Crossing Church had a new sermon series last month called "First".  Well you don't need to be a regular attender to know there will be a big tithe push going on here.  Giving the "first" 10% (or more) of your income was sure to be mentioned at every service.  To validate my theory on this, it seems none of the sermons were posted online.  Curious, isn't it?  They have multiple locations, multiple services, stream live each week and post all their sermons...except none of the "First" series was posted.

Here's a doozie from that series that was tweeted out:

Noah?  Are you kidding me?  NOAH?!  LMAO!  So if you don't give God (The Crossing Church) money then you'll get killed in the next natural disaster!?

This is reminiscent of February 2013 where another sermon on a similar subject never showed up online.  Same time of year too!  And why would that be?  Well it's just before Easter.  Easter is the time of year where churches need to draw in new attenders (money rolls).  The Crossing Church always goes big at Easter as they know many will attend out of guilt.

The Crossing Church - Always Only About Money.  Every single time.

So prove me wrong Crossing people.  What was the sermon about?  Why do you think they aren't posting it?  Ask.  I dare you to ask!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Subtle Manipulation to Get More Money at The Crossing Church

How The Crossing Church uses Subtle Manipulation to Get More Money out of their congregants.

I've been randomly listening to Eric Dykstra's sermons for months now and a theme has happened with each and every one; he's going for the money.  Every sermon, no matter the content, has a punchline of "You must tithe."  "You need to show God you can trust him with your money before he can trust you with bigger things."  "Give more."  "Give more to us."  Now if you're a bible believing person you can easily research that all this forced giving is not biblical at all.  Just Google it.

What I want to address is the ways they are manipulating people's emotions to finance their empire and their own lives.  It's the old formula of: tithe + prayer + doing things right = BLESSINGS!  It's disgusting.  People are desperate.  They want hope, they want guarantees and they want security.  They are told if they just follow this formula, with tithing always pushed the most, that life will work out.  Of course they have their pastors, Eric & Kelly Dykstra, as their grand examples of how if you follow their plan that financial blessings will fall from the heavens.  Because they certainly aren't wanting for anything right?  Big house, new Mustangs sent directly from God because of a special prayer, huge new church building, insanely expensive shoes , fantastic vacations both in the U.S. and overseas.  And then the one with more audacity than can even be stomached: when Kelly prayed that her Starbucks card would always be filled!  WTF?  Yes, you heard that right.  Well of course her Starbucks card is always full as she announced this from the stage so everyone would know to make sure to keep it full for her.  Then she acts like it's some special blessing from God that Starbucks cards are given to her.  Kelly, by going on stage and saying this was your special prayer you then put it in everyone's head a new way to kiss up to you.  That's why you have a full Starbucks card - not God!

I haven't forgotten the time Eric stood on stage, during a sermon on obeying your leaders, and said that if a leader did something for you then you should buy them something.  He gave an example of how he had just sent Bill Cornelius a $50 gift card.  Gee...and how many $50 gift cards did Eric get after that?  You are preaching to these working class, blue collar people and flat out using them for your own financial gain.  It's horrific.

Nobody gets a guarantee in this life.  Nobody.  God, or no God, the good luck is handed out randomly and without warning or by deeds. There are Christians being killed all over the world for their faith.  Children in poverty in Minnesota.  Death, suffering, dying, jobs lost, financial ruin, divorce, disease.  So is this because they weren't tithing?!?!  If they'd just given a church 10% then that would have been their spiritual insurance policy!?! Sure some people are going to profit as with any scenario; just run the numbers.  But what about those who do everything "right" and your formula just doesn't work?  You are ruining lives.  You are breaking hearts.  SHUT UP!  Just stop it!

I hadn't blogged about The Crossing for awhile.  Sure there was more than enough material for many posts but it's the same old shit.  Yet I can't keep quiet about the money manipulation.  Look at who you are really giving to and financing, Crossing attendees.