Community In Elk River Discusses Controversial Church

ELK RIVER (WCCO) — Earlier this week, WCCO-TV first told you about the concerns over a north metro church, The Crossing. The Crossing’s unconventional, edgy style of worship has drawn more than 2,000 people in the Elk River area. However, some say the church has too much control over its members.

On Friday night, more than 100 people met at Elk River High School to talk about what they call spiritual abuse.

The group brought up several questions, including: Is the church a cult? Do The Crossing followers believe pastor Eric Dykstra is acting upon a vision from God?

The crowd of families listened to speaker Chris Rosebrough, host of Pirate Christian Radio, who says he has analyzed Crossing sermons and compared them to bible teachings. He says he studies religious deception, because he himself spent a year in a cult.

Rosebrough analyzed sermons from Eric Dykstra at the meeting, playing sermon clips where Dykstra outlined church codes and church values.

“We orbit our lives around The Crossing church,” said Dykstra, in one clip. “We think it’s the only hope in all the world.”

Rosebrough responded to the statement.

“I’ve never heard a grass roots, ordinary pastor make such a statement ever. I’ve only, in my 25 years of studying religious predators, seen religious predators talk like this,” said Rosebrough to the audience.

Some say they came to listen, share experiences or ask questions. Others, like Kimberly Marshall, say they are part of a support group for those who left the church.

“There were various things in the talks that started to concern me, a lot about submission, you have to do certain things or else you are going to be kicked out. They talked about how they wanted their back door working properly. I found I was very fearful. If I didn’t do enough, I was getting kicked out,” said Marshall, who says she wants people to hear the truth.

Kelly Dykstra is part of the husband-wife pastoral team. She declined to comment on camera Friday night, but told WCCO-TV over the phone that The Crossing’s fruits speak for itself.

Dykstra says this weekend, the church plans to focus on a new sermon series on relationships, “Smokin’ Hot” and do what God called them to do. Last she said, they prefer to “Let God defend his church.”

She is also referring the public to a church blog that tells life changing stories of The Crossing members.

In response to WCCO-TV’s first story, church member Curtis Kennedy issued a video statement Friday night, in response to his mother’s concerns about The Crossing.

Katie Kennedy blames the church for taking her son away.

You can see her son’s response here:

He also has blog. To see it, click here.

  • Sue J

    I don’t like this Church and the way they teach the Bible, but when Muslims talk and preach like this and I complain I am called a racist? Go figure?

    • No I'm Not

      Yeah. A better comparison would be to Jehovah’s Witnesses’ or Scientology.

    • smb

      Not liking Islam doesn’t necessarily make you racist.
      Making assumptions of people and treating them in a discriminatory way based solely on their race, religion, or orientation…..does.

      I don’t know you. I’m sure you’re very nice, to certain people, But based on the fact that you read this article and the thing you came away with was “I can’t say mean things about muslims’ tells me what I need to know.

  • More money More problems

    Thanks for coming, give your donation here and take a seat.

  • Mike

    I find it extremely hypocritical of main stream religion telling anyone how another church of worship must act. All forms of religion are based on contrived knowledge and for one branch or denomination casting aspersions towards another is ridiculous and petty. If you don’t like the message, don’t attend the service, but for goodness sakes, mind your own business! Every religion is a cult to someone looking from the outside of it’s doors. Praying and worshiping to something that is not real except in your imagination is cult like!
    Get real people, it is borderline mental illness…….

    • Julie

      I totally agree with Mike. No one should be told how to praise God.

  • The truth shall be heard

    I take it you are not a Christian Mike. If you were and reading your Bible, you would know that when a man makes a “claim” that he had a “vision” from God, we are to examine it against what scriptures say. If we don’t, many many people get hurt, which has already happened. You would also know that when a Church claims to be a Church of Jesus we do examine how they act. Why in the world would you think the Bible says other wise. If you were there you would have found out and saw Eric Dykstra on tape tell his congregation that in order to be blessed, they have to give the crossing money, and sacrifice like Jesus did. Our salvation was a free gift when Christ died for us. So do not say mind your own business. If you are going to talk about the Christian religion, have some Biblical points please.

    • Dale Gribble

      You have twisted and perverted Pastor Eric’s teachings. You have borne false witness against a servant of our Lord Christ Aussie and enternal damnation is your reward!

    • Mike

      When you read the bible, why do you only convey and live the parts that you willfully want to pay homage too? Their are many destructive elements to the bible and totally backwards when facilliated with the idea that it can coexist in a socialized society with others who don’t think the same; their is always trouble.
      How can you forgoe the old testament when it too was the word of God?
      The bible and the study of Jesus as a lord and saviour or any other form of religion may provide some form of good , but once it trys to exist outside the heart and used to judge others, it has a tenacious decaying affect on civility and in too many cases becomes a catalyst of righteous pomposity that gives a pass on behaviour when one falls short of grace. You choose what is right because of the parts you want to manifest as righteous, but the bible clearly instructs more than that. You should mind your own business or do something more constructive and give away all your wealth and do as your Lord instructs.

  • The truth shall be heard

    Mental illness, now i know you go there, because EVERYONE who leaves is said to have a mental illness. Your comment is just one red flag you are in a Cult sir. I pray you listen to the pod cast,

  • Robinson

    Hey Mike ,you make a good point, but the mental illness comment is a bit “crazy” if you ask me. If you don’t agree with the “message” or the way a certain church conducts its business,leave it or don’t attend it’s services! There is alot more to address here in our community or in the world for that matter, and to keep this nonsense going in reporting it (wcco) baffles my mind.
    There are plenty of churches scattered around the Elk River, Sherbune county area that more or less have their own “demons” imeshed in the way they conduct their own business. For me, I don’t attend a particular church myself. My beleif is that I do not need to listen to anybody who puts his/her own interprertations on what God said or did, and try to sell me on it. Where they there when the Bible was written, and how are they privy to what they beleive God wants us to do with our lives? Move on folks….
    On another note, if you want to pray for something this weekend, pray for the poor souls that lost their lives on 911!! Now that is something God would want us all to do!

    • Mike

      Robinson, mental illness;
      (Medicine / Pathology) any of various disorders in which a person’s thoughts, emotions, or behaviour are so abnormal as to cause suffering to himself, herself, or other people

      How in the name of goodness can a person who has no idea what death means, attach a story about a place that no one has ever seen or been to, then spend their entire lives devoting energy to it, without saying it is not behaviourly abnormal?
      Most religious people call it faith. I call it mental illness……..

    • Tom

      @ Robinson

      The term mental illness isn’t that crazy if you think about it. I am not a very religious person, but I will say this you don’t need to go to church to believe in something. People who attend church feel that is the ONLY way to believe in something is to go to church because that is what they are told to believe. People can do their own thing at home, but they are told that is not the same, the only differnce is the money part of it. The church knows the more people that come the more money they collect.

      And the one differnce between the churches is this in most “old school” churches they do their readings, communion, shake hands, etc. But they don’t put their hands in the hair and jump up and down. You do see alot of that in the mega churches. I have little more respect for those who wear the white collar (not by much because of the sex scandal) than I do for the phonies at the mega churches who wear the designer suits paid for by those who sit in their mega churches. And of course those same people ( i call them suckers) are paying for theiir pastors lifestyle. I consider those type of Pastors scam artists.

      But this nut from Elk River is no worse than that nut from Annandale, MN who runs his ministrie from website.

      And their are two different types of Christains. There are liberal catholics and conservative catholics. Liberal cathoilics don’t feel the need to go to church, are free thinkers, and more liberal on social issues. While conservative catholics tend to be weak minded, are afraid to think for themselves, and want to lead around like little lost puppies.

      I am a Liberal Catholic!

  • God loves stupid people

    I love how this guy is just like the media. He takes things out of context and doesn’t show the whole picture. That talk he showed was Eric talking about the Crossing’s vision. Eric believes that the church as a whole is the only hope in all the world. Not that the crossing is the only hope in all the world. He just happened to be talking about the crossing specifically in that talk.

    • anonymous

      Exactly… You are trying to pick apart every little detail to manipulate it, you are not showing the whole picture. At least watch the whole talk and don’t pull out parts of sections so that it sounds like something else is being said. Also, remember this talk was specifically talking to Crossing people about what it means to be partners at The Crossing. He is going through exactly what our church believes so that people know our history and beliefs and values. He is giving people everything they need to know to make an informed decision if this is the right church for them. And he says that if this isn’t something that you believe or if you don’t feel the same way it is completely ok and this may not be the right church for you. He also says he would gladly help you find a church that is better suited for you in the area because there are a lot of great churches in Elk River and surrounding areas that he would recommend. Watch the talk don’t just watch the specific minutes that these people want you to hear so they can try to convince you that they are right.

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  • concerned for anyone attending the Crossing

    Hey Robinson, God does not want us to pray for dead people. Even if you do not attend a Church, if you read your Bible you would know there is only hope for those people who are still living. Once you are gone, your fate is sealed. There is no praying people out of Hell or into Heaven.

    Just FYI, the mental illness comment comes from Eric Dykstra himself. He has called many people mentally ill because they left his church or didn’t agree with him. Crazy?…..maybe.

    • God loves stupid people

      Eric has never called anyone crazy for leaving the church. In fact it doesn’t bother him at all if people leave. Eric’s heart is for people far from God. De-populating hell. He is bothered however if he offends a non Christian. I remember all the people who have created this uproar at one time inviting all of their friends and partnering with the crossing to reach people. Then suddenly they didn’t like the way they had to do things the crossing’s way so they left. Big deal. The church apparently wasn’t a good place for them. Find a church that has a vision and does things the way you believe in. This country is about freedom of religion

      • Dale Gribble

        Your message is good, but please understand that “freedom of religion” isva myth. Those words do not appear in the Constitution. It was the Founding Fathers intent that Christianity be the law of the land. Think how much easier Pastor Eric’s job would be if our politicians had the conviction ton act accordingly. Those who failed to see the light could be arrested, tried, convicted and executed in accordance to Biblical Law! America could then truly be one nation under God! Just think: no abortion, no gays, no pornography, no atheists! Pray for Pastor Eri and pray for Rick Perry!

        • Jason Kahl

          You are a complete moron!

          • suave

            son, you just got trolled.

    • anonymous

      That is a total lie that you just made up. You are ridiculous.

      • Dale Gribble

        Why do you serve the Prince of Darkness? Pastor Eric has revealed the Truth to you and you have turned away! You shall be cast into The Lake Of Fire to suffer unbearable torment for all eternity!

        • God loves stupid people

          Hahaha. If anyone takes Dale Gribble seriously…you are sadly mistaken. You can’t take a guy seriously with the name Dale Gribble from King of the Hill. It would be like taking a guy seriously that is 40 years old living in his mom’s basement with star wars sheets and posters on his walls. He is just having a little fun with people. I find it humorous. I can understand why most people wouldn’t. Thanks for all the laughs Mr. Gribble.

          • Dale Gribble

            How very sad that you would mock a fellow brother in Christ who is only committed the spiritual warfare of righteousness. Gov. Dayton, the Catholics, the gays and all the other Servants of the Deceiver must be laughing at Christians now.

  • Get over it...

    Why does anyone care? If you don’t like it don’t go. Plain and simple. I don’t want to pray to the Koran, but I don’t complain to a news channel about it. I don’t agree with this churches teaching, so I mind my own business and go to where I worship. It’s a free country….get over it!

    • I want the truth to be revealed

      Get over it …
      Your missing the point, many many people have been hurt and spiritually abused by Eric Dykstra and his staff. He has does much harm. Many of us still have loved ones at the Crossing, it is our desire that they see the truth, wake up and leave the Church for good.I would never set foot in the Church again with one exception. I would desire to walk through the building and pray against the evil and demonic forces that are at work in the building, but I may not get past the front door. so the fight will continue until our loved ones are free, I don’t expect you to understand I just want to give you an idea of where we are coming from and where we stand.

      • swampthing

        You should talk to your ‘loved ones’ then; it’s a personal matter, not a public matter. And free will and constitutionally guaranteed freedoms come in, as well as laws against stalking – so be prepared to be slapped with a court order and a 100 yard exclusion. Thank god for laws.

      • hmmm

        So talk to them about it… Not the news.

      • annonymous

        Get over it is right. You had your time in the spot light, you tried to make your point now stop obsessing (which is a form of idolatry) over Eric Dykstra and The Crossing. Get a life. You had yor boo boo kissed by the news now get on with life.

  • I want the truth to be revealed

    hmmm …
    You don’t think we tried that?

    • God loves stupid people

      You are going to find people hurt at every church. You have made your point. You have wrote blogs, went to radio, did a conference, and now television. You have used all resources. Don’t you think if what you have done is right, God would want you to just move on now. You have spoke your peace. Let’s just wait and see what happens. Why keep dwelling on it. You are wasting your time now. This is just a trick to keep your mind off of what it should be on. Reaching lost people. Except now lost people think us as Christians are idiots for fighting each other. So there has probably been more harm than done here. Because believe it or not the crossing does help people.

      • I want the truth to be revealed

        What you say makes sense. Will I quit praying for my child and others to be free of the Crossing? No way!
        What you will see is BDM move into more of a support role. We will be a safe haven where people exiting the Crossing can come to receive help, hope, healing, and prayer.

        • God loves stupid people

          I am a crossing attender and agree with what you just said. You should keep praying and you shouldn’t just reach people from the crossing but all churches who have been spiritually abused. You should also keep in mind that not all people who claim to be spiritually abused have been so. I have claimed to be spiritually abused from the crossing as well. After time away through prayer, I realized that I was the one who blew things out of proportion. I have even talked to people outside of the crossing about my issue and they agreed that I did. Sometimes we take things too personally.


            this is a total outrage to me i cannot believe that people are attacking a church vith neggative garbage i personally have been to this church several times and theres nothing that was ever said that made or apearred to me to have any control or spiritual abuse of any sort its a great church just like the great lady ive gone there with and would go there with again anytime THE CROSSING CHURCH IS NOTHING MORE THAN A PLACE FOR PEOPLE THAT DONT DO CHURCH TO GO TO ANYONE IS WELCOME TO GO OR NOT TO GO NO ONE IS FORCED NOR OFFERED ANYTHING AS A BRIBE OF ANY WAY I LOVE THE CROSSING CHURCH AND GOD AND ALL THE PEOPLE ON THIS PLANET

            • I want the truth to be revealed

              I am sorry you feel that way Kirt, it was a total outrage to me when I discovered what was going on out there, The Crossing is not a good place to be right now. I personally have seen the changes, heard the stories … face to face. Eric is nothing like he was when he started the church in the theater You really have to take what he is saying and compare it to what the Bible actually says, you will see that he twists scripture. If you would have come to Chris R’s event last Friday night you would clearly see the examples where Eric twist’s scripture to his own liking. He is preaching a totally different Jesus than what the Bible actually portrays.

  • cls

    Dale, how dare you condemn someone to hell. Since when do you have the power to determine the status of eternal life. The Bible is clear on how to enter to heaven and speaking ill of someone on Earth will not keep someone from Heaven. The only unforgivable sin is Blaphemy against God.

  • Dale Gribble

    Those who come here to attack Pastor Eric speak a multitude of blasphemies. The are the servants of Lucifer and their souls are forfeit.

    • Callie

      Dale, I am a member at the Crossing and I understand the frustration you are feeling. However, the way you are portraying the Crossing isn’t what God or Pastor Eric would want. Pastor Eric teaches forgiveness and does not teach being judgmental. Getting defensive is not the way to lead people to Christ! I would ask that you re examine the way you are trying to deliver your point, or maybe even better, let it go!

    • Bobalu

      Dale – I believe you’re Pastor Eric in disguise. Living a lie and hiding behind others is just another one of the ways you try to cast others into your “lake of fire” and “hell”. True Christians KNOW the Bible, and so does Satan. True Christians know that GOD is the way, the truth and the light, and that MAN cannot save us, only He can. Get your head out of your behind and see the light because we all can see you’re heading for darkness.

      • I want the truth to be revealed

        Hey I think you are right on … I could see this Dale guy being Eric totally when you really think about it

        • anonymous

          Oh my word, when will the ridiculous lies stop?

  • Bob McDermish

    Oh No!!!!!!!! Some believers in an imaginary sky wizard feel threatened by other believers in an imaginary sky wizard who feel that they have a better way of kissing up to said wizard. Fine, let’s take a look at what Jesus has to Mathew 7:4-5
    How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

    Thus we have here the same thing. You morons belong to a cult and then you say that you are concerned about other morons in a cult. First leave the cult you are in before speaking about other cults.

  • Where have all the sane people gone?

    I thought God’s word was free to all. You would think that God wants you to give when you can instead of giving out of necessity. Shame, shame.

  • swampthing

    I hope the young man goes back to college. So far, he’s done what he wants to do, by interpreting random events in the way he prefers. As good a method of running a life as any, I suppose. Nothing wrong with having a wife with a little more life experience.

    Frankly, the people standing up for the church are the most obvious signs that it encourages worship of the pastor over any ethical standards… y’all aren’t helping make religion look sane.

  • Peggy Hill

    My name is Peggy Hill and my husband sells propane & propane accessories. I think you should take everything I say seriously.

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