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Friday, June 3, 2016

Here is why The Crossing Church has been called a Cult

In The Crossing Church's latest series "Havin' Church", Eric Dykstra gave a sermon called "What's the difference between a Church and a Cult?"  Do tell!  I listened with great anticipation to find that cults were never spoken of in this sermon.  Curious.  There are many ways to speak on a number of points that came up from this sermon, but right now I only want to talk about why they didn't actually talk about cults, and more specifically why The Crossing Church has been called a cult.

The sermon tried to explain what a "healthy" church looks like, and by comparison, how The Crossing Church is supposedly healthy.  (It's not.)  Eric Dykstra says that a healthy church is not label focused, not person focused and not system focused.  This from the person that put his and his wife's faces on a billboard.  This from the person that tries to brand everything with the Crossing logo. This from the church that has a fully system focused Code!  

I broke this down in my post "I'm Offended" as to why people called The Crossing Church a Cult.  I'll list the reasons again:

  • A mother was trying to save her son after your reckless comments and authority trip caused him to leave his family, get married hastily and leave college.  Here is her story: One Mother's Journey 
  • You were kicking people out of your church, ruining lives and acting like a cult.  Another story: Open Letter to Eric Dykstra
  • You were so focused on church growth and yourselves that people were treated like they were disposable. Another story:Keeping the Faith
  • You were forcing submission, insane amounts of tithing and promoting fear.  WCCO news report: Community in Elk River Discusses Controversial Church
  • You wouldn't take accountability for anything.  WCCO news report: Pastor Addresses Controversy
  • You were allowing abusive leadership to lie and hurt others. My Story 

Here are typical signs of possibly being in a cult (see below).  It's fair to note that some of these signs can be present, and maybe the organization isn't necessarily a cult, but it's still controlling and dangerous.
  • Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.
The Dykstra's have no accountability.  They bring other mega church leaders on as board members, and these leaders have a thirst for fame just as the Dykstra's, so there is no one to monitor the situation and keep things safe.
No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.
No one is allowed to question.
No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget or expenses, such as an independently audited financial statement.
  • Ask for a statement of the church's finances.  Ask to know the Dykstra's salaries.  You'll get nothing.

There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.
  • People that leave are outcasts.

Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.
  • See blog posts in list above.

There are records, books, news articles, or broadcast reports that document the abuses of the group/leader.
  • WCCO news did multiple reports on the abuses of The Crossing.

 The group/leader is always right.
  • Read The Code.  Eric Dykstra is felt to have a Vision from God!

 The Crossing Church members are expected to orbit their lives around that church, they are expected to tithe (big!) and serve to exhaustion.  No, The Crossing it's Jonestown about to drink the Kool Aid (yet), but it has domineering leadership, manipulative tactics and unhealthy behaviors.

As Eric Dykstra loves to say, "Run, Forest, Run!!"