Has anyone heard anything (good or bad) about the New Song City Central church in Tacoma, WA? I was talking to a friend of mine who goes there, and the way she talks about it really bothers me. I heard a lot of mention of "authority" and "submit" and "laying it down" and "prophecy" and stuff that is usually good, but just the way she talked about it made me very nervous. It just reminded me of other churches that are abusive to its members. So I'm wondering if anyone knows anything about this church.
Here is their site:
They are the youth division of Clover Creek Bible Fellowship:
They are also listed here as a church that provides "a special emphasis on Spiritual Warfare and Deliverance".
I'll keep watch for further information, I live in the general area of the church, in western Washington.
I don't know if anyone will get this message as it's been a year since this forum was published. I used to be a member of this church. I'll describe some things and let you decide if it warrants cult status.
1.) Typical denominations are typically regarded as "religious".
2.) There are classes taught. Some classes can't be reached unless you take previous classes. For example you can't participate in a music class untill take the classes known as Freedom 1 and Freedom 2.
3.) Pastor frequently builds sermons on what he supposedly heard from God.
4.) Members are taught to hear the voice of God.
5.) Very involved use of small groups and hierarchy. You are taught to submit to the authority of group leaders.
6.) Prayer often occurs in groups. Various members of the group attempt to hear the voice of God to listen for a sin issue in one of the group members lives.
7.) After a sin issue is discovered the individual must pray loudly to "break" the sin.
8.) Intense pressure to be involved in church activities. Lack of involvement is considered a sin known as "passivity"
9.) Intense pressure to live with other members of the church.
10.) Church activities take priority over other considerations in a persons life. Intense pressure to sacrifice time for the church.
I left this church because the pressure to move out of my house was too great. I was also asked to do favors like help a group leader by picking up his yard. I was looked down upon for not sacrificing time to go evangelizing at the nearby high school. I hope this helps you out.
Thank you for posting, your information is valuable. Glad you are able to make choices for yourself and leave the church when it was not right for you.
How has the church responded to your departure?
When I initially left the church a small group leader and a friend (two different people) from church contacted me. I ignored the group leader's attempts to contact me but did talk to my friend. My friend believed that I should come back to church and that I needed to keep the faith. He said that the devil was laughing and dancing over my decision to leave. None of the strong leadership in the church made any attempt to contact me.
Please help! I wrote in a separate posting about a church which my daughter is attending. I find this church to be more of a cult than a church. My daughter has no friends any longer outside her church. Her family is only contacted if she needs something from us. She is estranged from her more than one person having been advised from her church to WAIT to make amends with them until a later time. I've never known church pastors or deacons to advise a member to wait on forgiving someone or making things better between them. She does everything the church tells her to do. They are very dark in their beliefs. Instead of our daughter being joyful about her (so-called) salvation, she never smiles, she is angry all the time, she talks about demons and the enemy and spiritual warfare. If anyone knows anything about this church and its practices, I would really appreciate hearing what you have to say. Perhaps a person who has left this church would have first-hand knowledge. I am very concerned about her well-being and that of our three grandchildren whom she has involved also. Thank you. emilylnm
There is another "New Song" church in Oceanside, California. They share the same "Statement of Belief". However, the California church actually has a "Why we are not a cult" webpage.
Quote:What we Believe
What we Believe - Statement Of Belief
We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the inspired Word of God, inerrant in the original writings, complete as the revelation of God's will for salvation, and supreme and final authority in faith and life. 2Tim 3:16-17, 2Pet 1:19-21
We believe in one God, creator and sustainer of all things, eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each of Whom possesses equally all the attributes of deity and the characteristics of personality. Gen 1:26, Deut.6:4, Matt. 3:16-17, 28:19
God the Father:
We believe in God the Father, an infinite personal Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. We believe He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, hears and answers prayer, and saves from death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ. John 16:23-27, Gal. 4:4-6, Eph. 1:3,17-23
God the Son:
We believe in Jesus Christ, God's eternal Son. He is true God and true man, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. We believe that He lived a sinless life on earth and died a substitutionary death on the cross, that His sacrifice for the sins of all men satisfied God's justice, and that all who believe in Him are freed from the penalty of sin and made acceptable before God on the grounds of His sin-payment. We believe in His bodily resurrection from the dead, His ascension into heaven, His current ministry of prayer on behalf of His people, and His visible return from heaven. Matt: 1:18-23, Luke 24:1-8, John 1:1,14, Acts 1:11, 2Cor. 5:19-21, Hebrews 4:14-16, 1John 2:1, Rev. 19,20
God the Holy Spirit:
We believe in the Holy Spirit. He is fully God, sent into the world by the Father and the Son to apply the saving work of Christ to men. He enlightens the minds of sinners, awakens in them recognition of their need of a Savior, and brings rebirth and renewal to them. At the point of salvation He permanently indwells every believer, and uniquely endows each believer with gifts for building the church. Matt. 28:19-20, John 3:5, Acts 1:8; 5:3-4, 1Cor. 6:11, 19; 12:4-13, Eph. 3:6; 4:11, 1Pet 4:10
We believe God created man, male and female, in the image of God and free from sin. We believe that men are sinners because of the fall and because of their own choices in life; and are therefore spiritually separated from God. We also believe that those who repent and trust Christ for salvation are born again spiritually by the Holy Spirit. Gen 1:26-27; 2:7-13, 19, Rom. 3:23; 5:12-21; 6:23
We believe the central purpose of God's revelation in Scripture is to call all people into relationship with Himself. We believe that salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. We believe that salvation is based upon the sovereign grace of God, was paid for by Christ on the cross, is received by faith, and cannot be earned through good works or rituals. We also believe that salvation produces a desire to become more like Christ in character and purpose. 1Tim. 2:4-5, John 1:12; 3:3-7; 5:24, Titus 3:5, Eph. 2:8-10, Romans 13:8-10
We believe that the Church is a spiritual body, with Jesus Christ as its head. We believe the Church is made up of all those who have trusted Christ as their Savior and Lord. We believe that Scripture commands believers to gather together to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, observance of believers baptism and communion as the ordinances established by Jesus Christ, fellowship, service to the body through the development and use of talents and gifts, and outreach to the world. We also believe in the interdependence of local churches and mutual submission of believers to each other and their spiritual leaders. Matt. 28: 18-20, Acts 1:8; 2:41-47, 1Cor. 11:23-26, Eph. 5:21, Col. 1:18, Heb. 10:24-25, 13:17
Separation of Church and State:
We believe that each local church is self-governing in function, and must be free from interference by any ecclesiastical or political authority. We believe that every person is directly responsible to God in matters of faith and life, and that each should be free to worship God according to the dictates of his or her conscience. Matt: 22:21, Rom. 13:1, 1Tim. 2:1-6
Faith and Practice:
We believe that Scripture is the final authority in faith and practice. This church recognizes that it cannot bind the conscience of individual members in areas where Scripture is silent. Rather, each believer is to be led in those areas by the Lord, to Whom he or she alone is ultimately responsible. We believe that every Christian's purpose in life is to glorify God, grow in Christ, and help others to grow towards Christ. We also believe that Scripture teaches faithful management of our resources. 1Cor. 4:2; 10:31, Col. 1:28, 1Tim. 6:6-9, Heb. 10:24-25, 1Pet. 1: 14-15, 2Pet. 3:18
We believe there will be a resurrection of the body for all men, and a judgment that will determine the fate of each individual. Unbelievers will be eternally separated from God and believers will be received into eternal communion with God and will be rewarded for works done in this life. John 5:19, 1Cor. 3:11-15; 15: 1-58, 2Cor. 5:8, 10, Eph. 2: 8-9, 1Thes. 4: 13-18, 2John 8, Rev. 19-20
Core Values: What we Teach:
1) Authentic Faith: Your faith must become your own.
2) Identity: You matter to God
3) Total Commitment: God is not just concerned with your spiritual life, He’s concerned with your life.
4) Purity: Purity Matters.
5) Accountability: Christianity is not a solo sport.
6) Relationships: You are who you hang with.
7) Service: I must consider others before myself.
8) Evangelism: Preach the Gospel always, use words if necessary.
We believe the Scripture, both Old and New Testaments, to be the verbally inspired Word of God in its entirety, without error in the original writings as the complete revelation of His person and His will necessary to be understood by mankind.
We believe there is only one living and true God in essence who eternally exists in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We believe God the Father, the first person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all things according to His own purposes and grace. He has decreed for His glory all that comes to pass. He has graciously decreed the plan by which mankind might receive forgiveness of sin and be reconciled to Him, and has chosen from eternity those whom He would save from sin through Jesus Christ.
We believe that Jesus Christ is true God and true man. He is without sin as to nature, unable to sin in principle, and did not sin in fact. We further believe in His vicarious and atoning death by crucifixion, in His bodily resurrection, and in His ascension to the right hand of God the Father. He will personally return in power and glory, and is the final judge of all.
We believe that the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, regenerates with spiritual life those who believe in the gospel, indwells the Christian and seals their salvation the instant they receive the gift of eternal life by trusting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and that at that same moment places the Christian into the Body of Christ in spiritual union with Jesus Christ and other Christians, that He sanctifies the Christian in holiness and gifts, and enables the Christian to serve in a way that bears spiritual fruit for God and the Church of Jesus Christ.
We believe that the first man and woman were directly and immediately created by God in His image, free from sin. Man subsequently fell into sin by a voluntary act of willful disobedience to the revealed will of God. As a result, every human being of all ages is a sinner by divine pronouncement, nature and deed, subject to the wrath of God.
We believe that mankind is utterly unable to save him or herself from the power or penalty of sin. Each person must receive eternal life and forgiveness of sin only on the basis of the elective grace of God through faith in the work that Christ accomplished in dying for the sin of mankind and resurrecting from the dead. Once a person has received eternal life, that person is forever secure as a child of God through Jesus Christ.
We believe that in the ultimate sense, Christ's church is composed of all who have been saved and will be with Him in heaven. A local church therefore, is to be a group of people who are genuinely saved, trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ and His atoning death for their salvation. The local church is comprised of two biblical offices - Elders and Deacons.
We believe that all spiritual gifts are in operation and that the Holy Spirit bestows spiritual gifts on all Christians for the purpose of winning the lost and strengthening believers for godly service to the glory of God. It is our intention to remain a nondenominational church where Christians may gather and fellowship together. We believe that in order to insure this we should center public worship and fellowship around exercising worship and love for God and love to one another rather than an emphasis on sign gifts.
We believe that Satan is a personage, a fallen angel, a powerful but limited creature, subordinate to God. He is the chief enemy of God and accuser of mankind, who continually seeks to counterfeit and pervert the works and truth of God, and destroy mankind.
We believe in the bodily resurrection of the saved and the lost. The saved shall appear at the Judgment Seat of Christ in heaven to receive rewards or loss of rewards and to dwell with Him for eternity. The lost shall appear at the Great White Throne of Judgment, and be cast into the Lake of Fire to suffer eternal, continuous punishment.
Thank you for your reply to my most recent message. New Song's "What We Believe" statement is questionable in light of what we are seeing,and what is being taught. Sometimes things are said or written as a ploy. I will look into the New Song Church in California also. I am very interested in finding out any information I can. There is some talk about a piece of land through New Song possibly being developed as a refuge for homeless/women/children. As unstable as our daughter seems to be, I am fearful she would be the first of the members. That definitely sounds like it could develop into a commune/cult situation. Thank you again for this info. If you have or get further info, I would very much like to hear from you. emily
New Song is a very seductive church. I don't know what your daughter's background is but it makes itself very appealing to individuals looking for a place to fit in. The doctrine of the church encourages-even if indirectly-for individuals to abandon family members and friends to avoid what they consider a bad influence. The leadership is very unapproachable as are the higher ups in the church. When I inquired from the about the church's beginnings, they refused to answer me but instead wanted to focus on my sin. Newer members are taught to felt obligated to do chores around the church such as clean up and I even witnessed a church leader requesting a man to do work at his house. Before I left they also had plans to frequent Stadium High school to invite students. When I left the church it was difficult because I really believed that by abandoning the church I was abandoning God. I'm not an expert in these things, but reconnecting with my friends and family outside the church helped. If you have any specific questions about my experience at New Song feel free to ask.
Thanks, Cyrus, for your message. Your information is right-on as far as what we see happening in our daughter. One of the things we see in her is that she never appears happy. There is no joy in her salvation, if she ever was saved. I have my doubts. In my opinion, you do not go around so angry and seemingly with dark thoughts if you are saved. And yes, she is into helping any way she can. That is, unless it is her family - that's entirely different story. If she goes to a family gathering, she sits there as if we are beneath her. We have seen an enormous change in her over the years. She HAS to be in control of everything. She is constantly on a power kick. One of my granddaughters told me that she could see her mother doing something like Andrea Yates because her mother DOES EVERYTHING THE CHURCH TELLS HER TO DO! That is frightening to us.
You hit the nail on the head when you say the church seems to draw those people who are insecure and fit in. I took her to my own church ONCE. She couldn't wait to get out of there. Mine is a traditional church where we believe in being born-again, etc. I happen to read the KJV Bible. I notice our daughter reads all kinds of bibles, other than the KJV. Does (or did) New Song encourage members to read all sorts of versions? Also, I notice these classes she is involved in are apparently either in small groups or they branch off into small groups. In talking with her, it isn't uncommon for the church to encourage the members to talk about intimate details of their personal lives. She has told the church things that I don't think I would even tell my best friend.
In checking on New Song's website yesterday, I noticed there is a new class for I suppose women members titled "Lies women are taught to believe" or something like that. I'll look it up again, or you can. I have noticed that New Song does not have adult Sunday School, just these classes. It sounds to me they get the members involved where they are indoctrinated how the church wants them to think.
Our three grandchildren go to New Song also. From what they tell me, all they do is play. According to them, there is no Scripture memorization or any means of learning about Jesus or the Bible. They do have gym, art, crafts, etc., but no Sunday School. I have even known one of my grandchildren to take toys to play with during this time.
I am very distraught about this church. I don't know what, if anything, we should do. How did you go about getting out of the church?
One thing I am very interested in knowing about is what it means in that church to be "prayed over." At my church, we meet on Wednesday nights, have a message given by the Pastor and have prayer requests from the members and then break into pairs and pray for those requests. She had my grandchildren "prayed over" at times and it scared them to death.
Thank you so much, Cyrus. I appreciate anything you can clear up for me. Like I said, I am particularly interested in what New Song does when they "pray over" a person. Thanks much!!! emily