Hope Christian Church ASU has regularly, and in a variety of different ways, engaged in practices which can (and do) render emotional and psychological harm to former members, current members, and even non-members.
NOTE: It is important to note that none of the behaviors epitomized by Hope Christian Church ASU here are considered “normal” for Christian ministries or faith-based groups to engage in. Any ideas such as “that is just how Church-groups operate” would be egregiously in error.
Dozens of experience reports were collected from former members which demonstrate these violations by Hope Christian Church ASU.
1: Intentional manipulation of members emotional and psychological state for trivial reasons
Summary: Hope Christian Church staff members regularly use trivial incidents to accuse student members of various kinds of wrongdoing, character flaws, or rebellion against God and the church. More often than not, further submission to church authority is given by Hope leadership as the implicit or explicit cure for these problems. On occasion, the true motivation of this manipulation is not transparent
-One editor recalls having a “sit down” with two campus ministers and the executive pastor of the church that lasted several hours. One of the campus ministers told the editor that he had chosen to reach out to the executive pastor to initiate the discussion, because he had “seen some little things” in the editor's behavior, chief among them was the fact that the editor had burped in public. During the course of this discussion, the campus ministers and executive pastor attempted (in their words) to “drill down” to the “root causes” of the behavior (burping in public) which the campus minister had observed. They attributed this behavior to a “spirit of rebellion”, “intense pride”, and other negative spiritual conditions. They then attempted to diagnose the “root causes” of these spiritual conditions, attributing them to “hidden insecurities” and “character flaws” within the editor. No solutions were provided for these “problems”. They were merely diagnosed, and then the staff members said essentially “We are here for you (the editor) as you continue to process all of this pain you’ve uncovered”
-Another editor was told she would be able to live in her discipleship house for a few months rent free, which was a boldfaced lie, but while living there she was consistently told she was not a good sister if she had done something deemed inappropriate in the eyes of Hope leaders. For instance their house had another house over one night that consisted of men, and the editor was pulled aside afterward for spending too much time alone in the dining room with a man. Two of the girls in her house sat down with her and discussed how she was "defrauding" this man because she was spending time alone with him as well as disrespecting everyone else in the house. They were playing a card game. Another instance of this condemning happened when the editor had forgotten to do a chore in the house. She had just been told that she would have to pay an extremely large sum of money, she did not have for her stay (after previously being sucked in on the pretense of a few months for free). She was treated as a child and felt miserable so she went to her mom's house. The leader of the discipleship house called her and yelled at her. She told her that she needed to come back immediately to take out the trash or else the editor was being ungodly. She told her she needed to find a way home after her mother refused to take her back. The editor was crying at this point and told the leader she had no way to come back. The leader said she was "giving up on her", after the editor had begged her not to say those words ever, for they relate to a personal matter the editor had previously discussed with her mentor. The editor fell to the floor crying and was depressed for days. During this time this same house leader had also told the editor she could not trust my mother for advice because she was not Christian, and though she didn't mean to do so, she would give the editor incorrect advice. Before the lease was up the editor was told she needed to move all of her stuff out of the house and that if she did not the house leader would throw all of her items into the trash alley behind the house.
-Another contributor remembers two occasions where he related to campus ministers (in his estimation, funny) jokes other people had made toward him in a teasing manner. In each case, the campus minister said something to the effect of: “Do you really think that’s funny? I’d be pretty upset if it was me.” and encouraged him to speak to the other person (the joke-teller), ask for an apology, and “resolve conflict”.
-One editor would also like to mention that he was advanced enough in Hope leadership, that he not only witnessed and received micromanaging behavior, but also assisted Hope in enacting it upon other students, many times. Although he takes full responsibility for these actions, he also views them as evidence of Hope’s unhealthy practices, and the immense amount of control they exert over the behavior of members.
2: “Gaslighting”: A psychological term used to describe manipulating a person in order to get them to question their own sound judgment or sanity
Summary: Campus ministers and pastors at Hope Christian Church regularly pressure and manipulate student members to mistrust their own recollections of past events, mistrust their understanding of themselves, mistrust their understanding of Christianity, or even mistrust their own cognitive faculties. This can even extend to pressuring students into thinking they have mental health issues when they do not, or vice-versa.The purpose of such activities is to get student members to trust themselves less, in order that they may place more trust in Hope leadership, and submit more to their “authority”.
-One editor notes it is common practice at Hope to call into question members’ judgement by citing a common phrase in Pastor Brian's sermons “have a healthy mistrust of yourself”, by literally asking “are you having a healthy mistrust of yourself?” and then inserting their own opinions. This is usually in a conversation with 2 or more staff members and creates an expectation that if you don't agree with them then you are suffering from pride or rebellion. Ending the conversation in disagreement will many times result in a later conversation attempting to use petty examples to prove that you are indeed suffering from pride and/or rebellion. One example of these petty offenses has been as simple as forgetting to return or make a phone call. When the editor explained it was a simple case of forgetting, he was told directly that he was lying about it and was in pride.
-One contributor recalls that during the first semester of his third year at ASU (fall 2015) a constant theme in his interactions with Hope ministers was being told he needed to "focus on pain" in his life more. In other words, he needed to not try and be positive all the time, and rather “process pain” that was either current in his life or incurred from past experiences. At first, this seemed like an innocent attempt to help the editor “get in touch with his emotions”. Even though this something he did not want to engage in, the editor nonetheless trusted the Hope ministers’ advice and figured they knew best. As it would turn out, he was being blatantly gaslighted. Eventually, a Hope minister and roommate began trying to convince him that his insomnia (that he has experienced since age 13) was a result of clinical depression or other forms of mental illness. He knew enough about the psychology of depression and his own insomnia to understand this was not the case. However, this conversation was carried out multiple times, and the ministers were persistent in their diagnosis (which they were neither qualified enough, nor knew enough about him as a person to accurately perform) that he was mentally ill in some capacity. Solutions were also not offered for this possibility, only that he needed to “realize the problem”, and that the ministers were “there for me”. This led the editor, for a time, to develop a deep mistrust of his own mental health, which was not rectified until after he left Hope and realized he had been manipulated, in order to become more reliant on the guidance and leadership of Hope’s campus ministers.
-On the opposite end of the spectrum, one contributor, while living in a Hoe discipleship house, was told that they didn't really have ADHD and it was just bad parenting and demons that led them to act the way they did. The house leader also said that depression isn't real it is just ungodly selfishness. This was told to the editor so often they started to question if it was true. The editor recalls the house leader using similar rhetoric with at least two other women in the house.
-A note on the last two stories and how they relate: Notice the contradictory messages here. On one hand, someone with no mental disability is told they have one, and on the other hand, a person with ADHD is told they are in error or lying about it, and that disabilities like depression do not even exist. The point is, it does not seem to matter to Hope Church if the advice they give on such deeply personal matters is sound or not. Possible means of getting members to question themselves and submit more to Church authority as a result will be exploited.
-One contributor remembers many instances where they were ganged up on by several staff members regarding the issues they were bringing forward with Hope’s ministry. They were told over and over again by their leaders that they were “projecting their flaws onto others” and “bringing forward their childhood ‘trauma’ and applying it to current situations”. In other words the editor was encouraged to question their own rational judgment and was told that they were making things up in their head about Hope based on their own insecurities or personal issues. Because these were people the editor trusted and respected, they believed that the ministers were trying to help and went to them for help on how to ‘fix’ these problems in that the editor did not see. The result was the editor truly believing that they were projecting their issues on to the church, and the problems they had with Hope’s ministry were entirely in their own head. It really was a battle for the contributor to actually believe them self and what they were seeing verses what they were being told and expected to do.
-One contributor not only witnessed and received “gaslighting” behavior, but also assisted Hope in enacting it upon other students, many times. Although he takes full responsibility for these actions, he also view them as evidence of Hope’s unhealthy practices, and the immense amount of control they exert over the behavior of members and junior leaders.
3: Emphasizing active involvement in recruiting efforts as a “must” to be a “real” member of the community
Summary: Being that the only real focus at Hope Christian Church ASU is converting college students to faith, and garnering new Church membership, if student members are not as actively involved in this process as HCC would like them to be, they are treated as “lesser” members of the community. They might be communicated with less, invited to less social events, or even effectively cut off altogether. This can be especially damaging since HCC also engineers the lives of students so that the Church is essentially their only source of friendship or substantial social contact. (This process is discussed in multiple other places in this report). Hope Christian Church ASU is preoccupied with finding “potential leaders” (i.e., potential future campus ministers) within its ranks of student members, and therefore if they cease to see leadership potential in a student based on their contributions to recruitment efforts, that student ceases to be “important” or “wanted” in the eyes of the Church.
-One editor recalls a conversation he had with a friend and former member who said things to the effect of: "As soon as I told them I didn't want to go on 'Invade' (The Church's Spring Break mission trip, they immediately stopped talking to me"
-One contributor recalls being discouraged from engaging in recruiting efforts after a poor academic semester, and then almost immediately feeling like I was “out of the loop” with the entire community.
-When the same contributor voiced these concerns to staff members, he was told that he was “believing lies from the devil” and “having a victim mentality.” The editor had previously thought of Hope as my only source of friendship at ASU, but at this point it became clear to him that his value to Hope Church had only been as a “team member”; in how much he could contribute to their objectives in getting more students on board with the Church.
-Another contributor had the very same thing happen to me as well. It was difficult because Hope had become their only friend group and it was clearly meant as a form of punishment.
-Another editor experienced this in a very extreme way. They like to think of their experience leaving Hope as ripping of a bandaid really slowly: it was really painful to suddenly go from having all of these "friends" actively involved in my life to not being invited to hang outs with the same people. As soon as the editor said they needed to focus on my academics more and church less, this cycle started. The editor went from sharing intimate details of their life with many of the Hope members to one month later being completely rejected by Hope when they reached out to hang out with them. The editor went through a really intense season of loneliness where I had to reevaluate my friends.
-Another editor's experience with this regarded being chastized by Hope leadership for not feeling comfortable cold-calling family and friends to raise funds for the Spring Break mission trip, to the point that the editor wound up not attending.
-The same contributor had another experience with Hope regarding their need to “learn how to bring people to Jesus.” Essentially, the way the editor had to learn was Hope’s way not their own way. The way Hope wants to lead people to Christianity is by coaxing them, tantalizing them, and unfortunately, bombarding them through electronic means and face to face conversation. The editor feels it is important to mention that Hope wants to create “cookie-cutter” members who will comply to the “way they do things.” That was not the editor's experience while growing up in the church. The church they attended was heavily into the idea of “spiritual gifts” (Spiritual gifts are the Meyers Briggs for Christianity to put it concisely). The idea of spiritual gifts is to know how you express yourself and know what your “spiritual aptitudes” are that could help you better serve the church. Evangelizing is most definitely not one of the editor's spiritual gifts and after expressing their discomfort with it to their mentors at Hope, they stated "you just need practice.” The unfortunate thing about Hope is that they are not letting individuals be individuals in their church. A big point to mention is that Hope doesn’t take into account that not everyone is made out to be this great evangelical person who can talk to anyone. Not everyone is the same and because of that there are going to be diversities in the church based on personality and that is what creates a cohesive church community. Different people have different strengths and because of Hope’s enormous (and sole) emphasis on evangelizing, they create an unevenness. You either evangelize or you’re on the out.
-Another editor was told, after the first time they brought a group of friends to Hope that they had become a "real member of the community".
4: Becoming disinterested and disengaged once an individual has been “converted”
Summary: This phenomenon is intertwined with Hope Christian Church’s insistence on participating in recruitment in order to be a “full” member of the community. Because Hope Christian Church’s one and only ministry focus is on converting college students, and gaining new members, once a student is converted to Christianity, the fullness of his or her continued activity within Hope Christian Church rests upon their discernment (or lack-thereof) of leadership potential within the student.
-One of the editors of the report recalls a conversation he had with a friend and former member who said, quote: “As soon as I became a Christian, I could tell the leadership was kind of like ‘Okay, we already got him. Let’s move on to the next one.’ and they kind of just forgot about me”.
-One contributor, as one who was very involved with leadership in the Church (as much as one could be without being an intern or campus minister, anyway), remembers many times where once a student became a Christian, the campus ministers and the editor would definitely lose interest in that student, relative to nonChristians who Hope leaders and the editor were recruiting, particularly if “leadership potential” was not seen in the recently converted student, in which case the editor and their Hope leaders would practically have no remaining interest in them at all.
-Two particular instances come to mind for the above contributor, where the editor and one of his “mentors” (a campus minister) were trying to “lead to the Lord” two students, in separate weekly Bible studies. Both students insisted that they were already Christians, and were unsure about whether they wanted to attend Hope, but said they would think about it. Week after week, for about 2 months, the editor and his mentor tried to pressure both of these students into admitting they were not actually Christians, and that they needed to be saved, and also into accepting the idea that Hope was likely superior to the churches they attended, and that they should try it out. For about 8 weeks, the editor and his mentor tried different tactics to pressure these two students, having “strategy meetings” before each Bible study. Each time the editor met with his mentor, they discussed various arguments, various forms of “gaslighting” (See item 2 on this page), though obviously they did not use that term, and other ways of pressuring the students. However, neither of them ever relented. The (agreed upon) response between the editor and his mentor was to cease having any form of contact with those students again.
-This portion was a huge reason why one editor left Hope. They had grown up in the church and were baptized as an infant but was told by Hope that they never had that “moment” where they submitted to Jesus' Lordship, and vowed to serve him for life, and therefore the editor would’ve gone to hell if they didn’t say a special prayer to give their life to Christ. They eventually re-dedicated their life to Christ, but according to their Hope mentors, that was their “moment” and they were no longer going to hell when they died. After the editor experienced all of this positive attention surrounding them and the hype went away they felt forgotten. They felt like they were another number and statistic and that now they were ready to move forward with membership and leadership only days after a big spiritual change in their life. Essentially, there was no regard for the fact that they weren't emotionally ready to lead people to Christ after this immense life-changing experience. The editor was then slowly faded out and basically became irrelevant to Hope staff which ultimately led to them leaving the church after spring break their freshman year. They forgot about the editor once they became “converted” and there is nothing worse than to be forgotten by people that once made you feel so special and important.
5: Teaching concepts which could be perceived as sexist
Summary: While sexism does not appear to manifest itself concretely in Hope (in terms of outright discrimination), it does appear in their rhetoric and in small-scale, surface level policies. These manifestations include limiting women in certain capacities of church leadership involvement, outright telling women they are not leaders in the same way that men are (to be fair, this could be considered a Biblical concept by some), and teaching concepts which denigrate the character of men as a collective.
Sexism in the form of misogyny
-One editor remembers how women were told not to sit in the first two rows because we would leave that for the men/future leaders of the church. It was also consistently stated that even though the women had a female campus minister (for the “evangelism team” they were assigned to on campus), the real leader was the male campus minister.
-Another contributor can confirm that the young men of the church were frequently encouraged to sit in the front rows to show that we were ready to be “leaders”.
-One editor recalls that it was taboo to want to sit with or next to anyone of the opposite sex, whether at service or social events. Essentially, they felt that by just wanting to sit with their longime friend (of the opposite sex) they would be shamed or looked down on. Even if males ended up sitting with females, there were several seats separating the genders. It felt like they were purposely segregating males and females because we can’t handle ourselves around the opposite sex.
-Another contributor recalls that the majority of their close friends were of the opposite sex and they sat with them one day at Church, and was told to move to go sit with their own sex, and when they asked why the response was that the editor was a distraction to the other sex who would be trying to learn the gospel. After that a minister would make sure that the editor always sat next to her in Church.
-One editor spent a short season of their time at Hope working on the worship team as a singer. In their experience on the team, there were several instances where the female’s microphone would be muted during the song so they would be unable to hear themselves or be heard by others. As a rule, women would not be permitted to lead songs of worship, only to be in the background harmonizing to the song (other than occasional solos). When questioned, the editor was told that this was because “God called men to lead and women to follow” and was then not allowed to attend future rehearsals.
-All the editors affirm that this theme of female submission, which often goes well beyond Biblical ideas of "men as leaders", and certainly well beyond what your average Christian group displays, is ingrained in the Church’s rhetoric and practices.
Sexism in the form of misandry
-One contributor recalls Pastor Brian Smith, on multiple occasions at both church and “Respect Movement” functions, saying, quote: “Men need to protect women from ourselves”. The context of the statement was a discussion about sexual assault, so the meaning is that the men in the audience are predisposed toward sexual assault and ought to take measures to protect women from their own natures
-Another contributor confirms that this wasn’t just a talking point in Pastor Brian’s speeches at the Respect Movement. This was ingrained in Man Up’s philosophy. This same statement was used frequently among Man Up leaders-- the editor remembers the student President using it many times. This gave the editor great discomfort as a Man Up officer, and was one of the first things that slowly began to give him pause about the Respect Movement.
6: Possibly denying membership to students based on perceived sexual orientation
Summary: Based on testimony, Hope Christian Church may very well, though proof is not available, deny membership to people they believe might be homosexuals
-See a testimony in item 2 of the U of A "Red Flags" page.
7: Intentionally placing members in emotionally/psychologically harmful situations
Summary: Hope Christian Church’s leadership not only aggressively solicits very personal information from student members, but after doing so, will even go as far as intentionally placing members in situations that might cause them to “relive” or be confronted once again with emotionally disturbing aspects of their pasts
-One contributor, after being pressured into sharing very intimate details of a destructive relationship they had recently gotten out of, their Hope “mentors” went out of their way to locate and invite the editor's ex-boyfriend, and the girl he had cheated on her with to Hope, and made a point to bring them up to the editor after service and act excited like they were facilitating some kind of great reunion.
-One editor recalls being made, with another woman, to confess to the campus ministers every relational sin they had committed, and even sinful thoughts they may have had about men. A campus minister then put her on the spot (in front of the group) and made her, by way of persistence and mind games, relate the story of a sexual assault (though the editor did at all want to speak about the event) she had experienced, and tied this in with her past sins regarding relationships.
-One contributor recalls a time after Sunday service when one of their mentors pulled them aside to discuss further about a personal topic they had brought up briefly a few days prior. This personal topic was their semi-romantic relationship with another person during my first semester of my freshman year. The editor remembers being very uncomfortable and the discomfort was palpable but the campus minister still pressed the topic. The editor tried to be as vague as they could, but the minister asked for specifics and kept saying that the minister had a similar experience and was relating the contributor's experience to something in their past. This ultimately helped the editor open up more because they felt that the minister would be able to provide some guidance on how to cope with this particular period of time. After the conversation the editor was given no help and they had just divulged a very personal and uncomfortable time in their life. It felt like the minister was just looking for information on their life with no intention of giving advice and guidance on the topic. Looking back, it was very deceiving and wrong of the Hope leader to pry into a vulnerable person’s very personal life to just leave them there hurting and without guidance. This situation, and ones like it and the one above, are acts of hidden agendas, deception, fraud, and downright disrespect for the individuals.
-One contributor was regularly forced to share aspects of their, to put it mildly, difficult past, in particular the various abuses in relation to members of the opposite sex as well as family. Campus ministers would tell the editor they were broken and that if the editor told divulged information and put trust in Hope's leadership, then God would be able to heal them. The editor was strongly encouraged to call their ex who had abused them for a long period of time so they could move past the experience. The editor was also told that being sexually assaulted at a fairly young age was a good thing because it had prevented the editor from engaging in intimate relationships before marriage.
8: Leaving former members with lingering psychological and emotional effects
Summary: In some form or another, all the former members of Hope Christian Church experience lasting effects. In the experiences in our report, such effects included reduced ability to function socially, reduced ability to make autonomous personal life choices, fear of encountering members of Hope on campus, feeling as though physical access to the ASU campus is limited, radical changes in worldview (such as loss of faith), reduced ability to trust others (particularly religious leaders), reduced ability to trust one’s own practical and moral judgment, and depression. Some of these effects are consistent with mild cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
-One editor hasn't had a ton of lingering “pain” or anything since leaving Hope, because that is just not how he is wired. However, one effect he has experienced is that he occasionally now lacks confidence in his ability to genuinely love people. The editor spent so much time, under the guidance of Hope ministers, learning how to heap false and pretentious affection upon people (in order to “win them over” for the church), that he now finds himself questioning the genuineness of his love for others, and ultimately his base motives in relationships with friends and family. For more on Hope’s practice of falsely “love-bombing” prospective members or future leaders, see the page on the U of A Council of Religious Advisers "Red Flags".
-Another contributor has really struggled with the same phenomenon as well since leaving Hope. They often find themselves looking at their motivations behind their relationships with others: "Am I friends with them because I see them as someone to ‘convert to Christianity’, or am I friends with them because we bring joy in each other’s lives?"
-One contributor also finds it near impossible to consider dating at this point in his life, because it still feels “wrong” in some sense, since Hope always preached that you shouldn’t date until you were a certain age, at a certain “position” in life, and until you’d received approval from church leadership on who you wanted to be with.
-One editor attests that he is often fearful of encountering Hope members and particularly campus ministers on campus, and that he intentionally avoids locations where they often congregate.
-Another contributor experiences this as well. They find themselves avoiding going to certain places (such as the Starbucks at the MU, specific places in the dorms, or NEEB hall after classes), because they might run into Hope people.
-One editor will do essentially anything to avoid going near the MU Starbucks on campus due to Hope members’ constant presence there. He can’t remember the last time I actually bought a coffee from there, and he used to hang out with a girl who is a current member (that friendship has since been lost) on campus, but if she would ever want to go to Starbucks he felt that he had to decline-- first of all to keep himself from awkward and passive-aggressive contact with Hope, but also to keep his female friend from getting in trouble with Hope leadership for hanging out with a man one-on-one. The friend also agreed this was a risk, and decided they shouldn't hang out in places where they might run into Hope leaders. The editor also actively avoids the area of campus close to the dormitories where he spent the most time with his “ministry” team in Hope, and know that they frequent the area often.
-If one editor sees Hope members on campus and it is very evident that both parties saw each other the editor will be polite. However, if the Hope people are congregated at the Starbucks in the MU, or another such location, the editor will act distracted so they don’t feel inclined to speak to them.
-When she met with two of the contributors, Ms. Stults at the Dean’s Office brought up a good point, noting that this phenomenon essentially makes former members feel as though their access to campus is limited. Though it is not officially limited, and we could change our behaviors, we basically choose to limit our own access because that is preferable than potential contact with Hope members who, we once considered best friends but abused or cut us off eventually
-One contributor actively avoids members of hope. On multiple occasions they have ducked into buildings or hidden behind various objects (i.e., trash cans, trees, cars ect) to avoid being noticed. Because of this they have been late to multiple classes and have also missed the inter-campus shuttle on more than one occasion. They will not go to Starbucks on any campus in fear of running into the groups that routinely congregate there.
-One contributor knows a friend who literally lost his faith in God as a result of his experience with Hope
-One editor has had significant trouble trusting religious leaders as a result of their experience with Hope, while not losing their faith, have found it almost impossible as a result of their experiences to not be cynical about religious leaders and institutions because of the fears and anxieties created by Hope.
-Since leaving Hope one editor has been in a state of ups and downs that her best friend has had to help her out with. She didn't know who she really was after she left. Everyone she had befriended at Hope stopped talking to her for the most part and if they did talk it would be consistently about how she was doing spiritually (the presumption being that she is now spiritually lacking after departing Hope). The editor does find it hard sometimes to know what she want in a friendship or relationship as well because Hope had conditioned her to qualify her friends in a certain way. She is also constantly looking for approval from people. She's not used to just being okay with herself yet.
-Even while writing his contribution to the report, one editor was fighting a strong sense of guilt for speaking out against Hope, because of how ingrained it was to not "rebel" against their authority. It is still difficult for him to trust any religious leader no matter how well he knows them. This goes beyond normal skepticism. He frequently question the intentions of leaders and think of how they may be trying to manipulate him.
-One member has had a difficult time separating what the Bible says about specific issues verses what Hope led them to believe about certain issues. Scripture was often used and manipulated to gain strongholds on the editor, so they are currently working though separating fact from fiction in regards to personal issues. the editor truly believed for a long time that they were letting issues from my past navigate all of my behavior (A prevalent theme Hope pushes on members), and the reason they were discontent was because of these things. They are currently attending counseling to help them sort all of this out and to come to peace with their decision to leave Hope.
-One editor didn’t lose their faith and their belief in God, but they are really scared to be involved in churches in the Tempe area out of fear they will be like Hope or have ties and influences from Hope. They have not gone to church regularly in Tempe since leaving Hope.
-One editor has found it impossible to make themselves even attend another church after leaving Hope, even though they make frequent plans to do so. Multiple times in the year after attending Hope, the editor would get up and get ready to go to church, but then would be frozen in front of the door, unable to make themselves leave. Every time they made up or found a reason not to go.
-The same editor has had a difficult time trusting Christians, especially if they are a part of a nondenominational church such as Hope. This distrust comes from the style of relationships that focus on conversion that is popular at hope; the editor doesn't trust that such ministries will not try to control their faith.