Reposted by Rita Lady
I started going to the Arising church back in 2014. My sister brought wme after great convincing. I finally went and fell in love with the community, the feeling of connection, and momentum in people's faith in God. There was visible change including people filled with the holy spirit, spiritual chains being broken, freedom happening, lots of new commitments, and a meaningful desire to grow and change. Charismatic churches were new to me and I felt like this was the place to advance my faith. I quickly started to get involved with everything that was going on. I wanted to be apart of the change. I made some great connections with people and built some friendships that I didn't know were possible. We were all unified under one belief.
I had a few very sensational experiences like altar calls and people laying their hands on me but I always had a check in my spirit. There was always something off but I couldn't put my finger on it. I had to ignore the check in my spirit many times to feel unified. I usually chalked it up to being something wrong with me. The thought "it must be my fault" whenever something was a problem in life became a trend without even knowing it. It makes me sad to say this but I was encouraged to overlook or lay down normal things like obeying my parents, respecting my boss, or taking college classes in the name of honoring God and surrendering my desires to him. Arising was interested in my submission to them and leaned on the side of my family being in the way. For example, when my family asked if I could join them for dinner I was discouraged and felt pressure to deny them because "God was moving and I should stay at church." I was shamed for going on family vacations and I was told it was a distraction from my consecrated time in discipleship (I lived with one of the pastors).
As stated in a previous review, check their doctrine if you decide to go. They will use scripture to have you submit and surrender everything including healthy things like your family, your education, your health, your money, and your job. The "pain" of submitting is supposed to reveal your strongholds and be evidence of your need to submit more. This is supposed to bring freedom from those chains and consecrate you even more to God. I never made it. I didn't sacrifice enough or volunteer enough or show up to enough meetings or give enough. Unfortunately, I hurt family relations (thankfully my family is great and forgave me and still loves me), I lost a great job and stunted my college progress. I also experienced night terrors but from feeling destitute to hell - not something I would ever want for anyone.
The voice of approval from the pastors was like a carrot dangling in front of my face with maybe a few scraps of affirmation that keep me coming back for more. I wanted to be a good Christian and never succeed. There were a few times I tried to escape but couldn't. I was isolated and alone and brought back to the discipleship house. Today I give myself grace because I was young and didn't know how to put words to the abuse received. I would stay clear of this church.
Thankfully I'm back in school! I was able to re-find myself and remember what made me who I was before Arising took that away. I have joy again after years of depression. I'm 3 years clean of that place and I'm pursuing a great future. I wouldn't say I'm out of the woods yet but I have dreams for the future again which is great progress.
Please be careful if you decide to visit
Reposted by Rita Lady
I considered writing this review for a while. After seeing a review with a similar experience, I decided to put my thoughts into words.
This church, without a doubt, has cult like tendencies and attributes.
I will list them here, as well as my experience with the church.
1. Love Bombing
When I first began interacting with Arising, the members were very welcoming and loving. They would offer their homes for worship, talk with me about my life and would encourage me to dig deeper into the Word of God. Being raised in an evangelical home and attending a Lutheran school, I was familiar with the word and accepted Jesus into my heart years prior, but I was missing the fellowship and "deeper" learning this church provided. At first, this church seemed perfect. Unconditional love and support from the members reeled me in. Then, the criticism began. When I would discuss with them my struggles, such as in school or even applying for jobs, they would have a slightly demeaning tone, almost like what I was doing with my life wasn't right or ordered by God. I felt like whatever I did wasn't enough for God. I became fearful instead of seeing the love of God.
2. Us vs. Them Mentality
I didn't see this as much as a few others I connected with who have experienced the church, but it exists. My primary memory is during a time of transition for the church. Their building was bought by another neighboring church and they moved their worship to a backyard venue. During worship one morning, an official stated to be loud during worship, and if the police came, do not stop worshiping God or stop the service. This put a pit in my stomach. While we as Christians are to be joyful and preach the word of God to others, this kind of activity was disruptive and the neighbors had every right to their privacy and quiet in their own neighborhood. They also had a negative tone towards other churches in the area.
Another story, while not as pertinent, was a time I ran into a member outside of a store in Woodstock. Me and my current partner were going inside of the building to enter a store. A member of the church stopped us and asked to pray with us. When I said no thank you (as I got a very strange feeling from this person and did not feel comfortable interacting with him), he stood in front of us and blocked the door. He did not move till I agreed to pray with him. To this day I don't know why I felt so uncomfortable, but the experience stuck with me.
This goes along with #1 a bit, but the paranoia sets in after the love bombing. I would often be afraid I wasn't doing what God wanted, or not doing enough for the church.
4. Members have no idea they're in a cult
During my time at Arising, I heard rumors that the church is a cult. I ignored them. It wasn't until I left the church and did research that I noticed many different tendencies and aspects about it that was cult like in nature.
Also, some of their teachings did not line up with the Bible's teachings. They would take passages out of context, or reference the Old Testament as if it is the law of today. Almost as if the whole story in the Gospels were not as important, or were not critical to the story of our salvation.
It took me a bit after leaving the church to gain my footing again. I reconnected with friends, began to pray on my own, and continued to work at my job. Slowly, the fear of not being enough was overcome with the love and acceptance of God that I knew before joining Arising. While I enjoyed some of the sermons and felt fulfilled volunteering at certain places during my time at Arising, it is not a place that harbors the teachings and love of Jesus Christ.
As another reviewer wrote, proceed with caution when entering this church.