I received this email with the story of one of our posters who used to go to Quest. His experience is rough as many of ours has been. Read his story and if you feel led to respond with an encouraging word, then feel free to do so.
"Thanks for creating this site. I'm glad to see an active outlet inexistence for those who have been harmed by Quest to discuss what they endured, warn others, and find healing. Questers do need our love andunderstanding as well as our continued prayers.
The reason for this entire post is because some current Questers who post here want specifics. I'm also tired of their implied maliciousness towards anyone who could possibly have something bad to say about QCC. Here's my story in brief...
My experience at Quest for around a year was not positive in its majority, unfortunately. I will not name anyone specifically although it could be helpful (and certainly within scriptural boundaries) for the church to confront its own. First off, I was not in leadership,and I was active in a life group. I am in my mid to late 20's. I was fairly well known and also attended both the college group "Reverb" aswell as the young adult group "Mosaic" fairly regularly.
Initially I was treated well, and every one at QCC around my age suddenly acted very interested in me as soon as I started attending. That interest was not very genuine as I later came to find out after multiple attempts to foster a genuine friendship with a few of them failed repeatedly. None of them were willing to be as forthcoming with the same information they seemed so eager to prod from me either.
The Lord has been at work in my life for many years, brought me through much, and taught me much. I know His presence and guidance. I am a genuine born again Christian, understand what it means to be saved according to what Jesus said in scripture, and have seen further evidence of this through the fruit I bear because of the change the Holy Spirit has brought in my life. I am not the man I used to be. Those at Quest, however, where not so content with my faith and peace of mind. I was continually pressured (often by large groups in circle around me...creepy much?) into thinking that I might be kidding myself and that maybe I "just had a head knowledge". Nothing I said or proof I could offer could dissuade them. As a result I was continually shunned and made an outsider from that point on. Typical cult behavior. I was being pushed away in an effort to make me conform and seek acceptance. I saw this exact same strategy time and time again with the saved and unsaved alike who visited.
Life groups seldom touched on anything deep. They seemed little more than monitoring devices to keep tabs on people, constantly inject Quest rhetoric, and foster a feeling of unquestioned loyalty to"leaders". Out of further respect, I will not list my former lifegroup leader and any of the shallow and hypocritical behavior rampant within our group. However, you'd think that Christians wouldn't constantly quote an obscene anti-Christian movie like "Borat", behave exceedingly crudely, or have statues in their homes of a naked Africannative with a giant upright phallus on a spring.
On the occasions that I either disagreed with something said in a sermon, wondered why scripture was seldom studied (or used to back upa "sermon" points), questioned why obviously openly homosexual members where in staff positions, or just wanted to go deeper in my understanding of why Quest's pursuits (and considerable revenue) seldom seemed to extend beyond the building and into Christian service to the community (as both Jesus and the early church were fond of)...I was either ignored, rebuffed, and made to feel inferior via thinly veiled insults. Whenever I used scripture in its correct context to support my opinion or provide a rebuttal to something said to me (often in a fashion to indicate there was no argument and I was rude or stupid for even making one), I was told on more than one occasion that it was possible to read scripture with the wrong heart (simply because I didn't agree with things they had taken out of context) or that it was possible to read it too much. Do I even need to go into what's wrong with those statements?
In the end, all that I saw underneath the nice manufactured atmosphere was a lot of immaturity, arrogance, manipulation, commercialism, and a system designed to perpetuate the existence of the Quest machine and unquestioned obedience regardless of one's misgivings or unanswered questions. Compartmentalization and secrecy abound in an environmentwhere genuineness and transparency are extolled as virtue. They care more about making everyone happy and making sure the stupor produced from their crafted environment isn't disturbed. Point in case...they do nothing about all the spoiled emo kids of memebers/staff who makeout and smoke cigarettes in front of the church during service, but they will happily make sure a family with a baby moves away from the sound booth (so their precious video recording will be flawless) regardless of the discomfort and embarrassment it causes the family.Mind you the issue with the family was something I heard about, but didn't see personally. However, it is believable considering the disposition of the staff when it comes to a "production". They also boot anyone out of their live internet broadcast who asks theological questions they may have answers not supported by Quest dogma. This happened to me one week when I was sick at home and asked a simple question. It was fairly early in my time at Quest.
I could go on and on listing specifics and recalling various conversations, but I won't. It would be too lengthy and I would end uprambling. In conclusion, Quest puts more emphasis on itself and how they have changed people's lives with Jesus being a foot note. They also confuse coming to the understanding of the love of God with salvation. They don't spend much time talking about repentance, belief, and obedience to Jesus nor going deeper into simply studying books of the Bible. QCC is enthroned instead and there is always a gimmick to keep the crowd smiling. The puppeteers have perfected what emotional strings they need to pull in order to keep the majority from seeing past the glamour. They serve for the most part spiritual junkfood with little nutrition. They are wholly unapologetic and unashamed. They feel they can do no wrong.
May God have mercy on them and open their eyes."
Thanks for your boldness in posting your story! I wish you well on your journey of healing and discovering God's intent for what a community of believers looks like for today.