Church Check: One Place Church in Hayden, Idaho
Basic Church Information
Church Name: One Place Church
Senior/Lead Pastor: Pace (Christopher) Hartfield
Address: 190 W Centa Dr, Hayden, ID 83835
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OnePlaceChurch
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/oneplacechurch/
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/OnePlaceChurch
Online Services: http://live.oneplacechurch.com/
Denomination: Non-Denominational / Charismatic / Covenant Evangelical (see Question #4)
Preaching Style: Topical
Membership Requirements: Unknown
Tithes/Compelled Giving: Yes
Financial Transparency: No
Answered Questionnaire: No
Affiliations: ARC, Open Arms, Union Gospel Mission, The A21 Campaign, C3 Global, Levi Lusko/Fresh Life Church, Micahn Carter/Together Church, Kevin Gerald/Champions Centre Church
Red Flags of Spiritual Abuse - Coercive Control, Financial Abuse, Exploitation, or Opportunism
Update: It's been two years since we initially published this Check for One Place Church. Now, after a lot of investigation, learning, and new experiences, we have a lot to add.
Red Flags of Financial Abuse, Exploitation, and Opportunism
One Place's Giving page on their website teaches flat-out lies about the Old Testament practice of tithing, stating:
"A tithe—which just means “tenth”—is defined as the first 10% of a person’s income that is to be given back to the local church."
While tithe does technically mean "tenth," this is not the biblical definition or practice of tithing historically. Tithing was never money in the Bible. It was a tax on the people of Israel as a part of the Mosaic Covenant between God and the nation of Israel, and no one else, and it was for animals and food raised in the land of Israel, and nowhere else. It was never from "income."
I believe this twisting of historical and biblical tithing is opportunistic in that it exploits Christians who might not be aware of the true biblical purpose and definition of tithing. Seeker-friendly churches that avoid teaching the Bible contextually are able to get away with twisting and misinterpreting it, making them all the more likely, and able to exploit and manipulate their churches.
The Giving page also says this about tithing:
"Tithing is a principle that is taught throughout the entire Bible."
While tithing is mentioned in both the Old and New Testament, it is definitely not taught in the New Testament at all. In fact, a thorough study of Hebrews 7 will show that tithing, through Christ, has now been made obsolete by the New Covenant between God and all believers in Jesus Christ. So this claim by One Place is another lie. Notice also that neither of these claims are backed up by Scripture.
"When we tithe, we are expressing worship in a tangible way by putting God first in our lives.
While donating money to a church, or any organization, that you believe is serving God and spreading the Gospel, is a form of worship toward God, and of course is a good thing, that doesn't mean you are "putting God first" in your life. True worship toward God is about the condition of the heart, not the "tangible" and monetary donations we make to our church. It's very easy to donate to a church while still being far from God in your heart. Jesus points this out to us Himself when scrutinizing the Pharisees in Matthew 23:23 where he calls them hypocrites for tithing, but failing the more important matters of the law, such as mercy, justice, and faithfulness.
Additionally here, think of those who can't afford to donate to their church. In the Bible, the poor were not required to tithe. In fact, they were on the receiving end of the donations and tithes collected. One Place doesn't mention the poor or the needy here, and this claim seems to suggest that all people should be "putting God first" by "tithing." These kinds of statements without clarification for the unfortunate, is another red flag of exploitation in my opinion.
2. Information Control through Censorship, and Ignoring Questions
Another red flag of spiritual abuse at One Place Church would be the way their social media accounts are handled whenever questions, challenges, or disagreements arise in comments sections. Censorship is a form of information control, which, as explained by cult expert Dr. Steve Hassan, is also a form of undue influence, coercive control, and is therefore spiritually abusive. You can see this in the BITE Model we offer in every Church Check under the "I": Information Control.
Deliberately withholding information, such as any kind of criticism or questions toward the church, is deceptive, and also what Wade Mullen, another spiritual abuse expert, would call "impression management."
An example of this happening would be a recent sermon taught by Pastor Pace called "Build Your Church," wherein he preaches a highly idolatrous message, saying "life has no meaning if you're not going to church." When I commented on the quote from the sermon on One Place Church's Facebook Page, it was promptly taken down, and so was a comment from a former member, who also showed disagreement with the quote.
This is not the first time comments the church might deem unflattering have been taken down. I've asked them about Pace's knowledge of the Micahn Carter/Mary Jones/Together Church situation, which they took down just as promptly.
3. Coercive Control through Church Idolatry
As briefly mentioned in the previous red flag, Pace Hartfield recently taught a sermon at One Place Church called "Build Your Church" in which he elevated the local church onto a pedestal that made it the very meaning of life.
The exact quote: "Life is meaningless if we aren't going to church and if we aren't being the church."
As clear as the lie is to me, a lot of people I shared this quote with struggled to see the problem, and I believe it's because of the second part, which distracts people from the first. Yes, being the Church could be seen as a purposeful life for a Christian. But when you say that life is meaningless if you aren't going to church, what does that mean?
Does Pace mean to say that your life is meaningless if you aren't attending a brick-and-mortar "church" building? If so, I think he's idolizing church, but I think he's also practicing spiritual abuse.
This kind of statement lines up with Dr. Steve Hassan's "B" in his BITE Model (Behavior Control) by instilling dependency on the church and discouraging individualism. It also exhibits the characteristics of the "E", emotional