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Spiritual Abuse Titles Spiritual abuse is the mistreatment of a person who is in need of help, support or greater spiritual empowerment, with the result of weakening, undermining or decreasing that person's spiritual empowerment.

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10-27-2011 07:20 PM
Unregistered
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
The concept impressed upon me as a child and adult was anything connected to the recovery was not worldly and everything not -connected to the recovery was worldly. For example there's no distinction between Christians meeting outside the local churches than non-believers who live to their own vices.
Simplistic World View of the LC

1. We are Jerusalem - specially chosen remnant and apple of God's eye
2. All other Christians are Babylon - corrupted, fallen, degraded
3. Non-Christians are Egypt - fleshly, pagan, heathen

What a convenient way to expound the OT. So neat and tidy. And when you get 5 or 6 or 7 groups claiming the one and only status of "Jerusalem" then the fun really begins!
10-27-2011 10:25 AM
Terry
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
1. Very little attention paid to the importance of family: "Take care of the church and God will take care of your children." "Don't miss any meetings." "Use all your spare time for the church including your vacation time."

2. Hyper-spirituality

3. Witness Lee not being a role model of proper and effective parenting

4. The Two Babylons book that was promoted by Witness Lee and others

5. The mentality that everything was "worldly" except church activities, publications, friends, etc.
Here's my responses to 1-4.

1. It changes from household to household. Some may have sold out completely to "take care of the church and God will take care of your children". Some may have let it go through one ear and out the other.
I would ask if you take care of the church, don't miss any meetings, and use your vacation time for conferences and trainings, what happens when your family goes through hard times? Will the church be there?

My response would be those in the church who you're built up with may be supportive, but when the rubber meets the road, no one can be more counted on than family.
Being raised in the local churches, my family went through hard times. When my parents were separated, it wasn't the church that helped out my family financially. Meaning there are churches in my town where one my own homes it rents out to hardship cases from it's congregation. Another church has a fund set aside for help out hardship cases from it's congregation.
Just so I'm not being one-sided, when the rental my family lived in burned down, it was our locality that did step up in a way no other local church has that I had met with (as a child or adult).

2. Hyper-spirituality: I think that's just a facade; an outward form. Anyone can be "spiritual" without needing to be expressive about it. It's not what you say, but how you live.

3 & 4: I knew nothing about.

5. The concept impressed upon me as a child and adult was anything connected to the recovery was not worldly and everything not -connected to the recovery was worldly. For example there's no distinction between Christians meeting outside the local churches than non-believers who live to their own vices.
10-25-2011 06:48 PM
Unregistered
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
As a churchkid in Anaheim, celebrating birthdays, Thanksgiving, etc was common. Maybe for households that were influenced by a Jehovah's Witness background, there would be an aversion to celebrations. I say this in part because the LC is a melting pot of many backgrounds (baptist, mennonite, JW, Catholic, etc).
Maybe but I think the negative influence on families was due to several things directly related to the LC:

1. Very little attention paid to the importance of family: "Take care of the church and God will take care of your children." "Don't miss any meetings." "Use all your spare time for the church including your vacation time."

2. Hyper-spirituality

3. Witness Lee not being a role model of proper and effective parenting

4. The Two Babylons book that was promoted by Witness Lee and others

5. The mentality that everything was "worldly" except church activities, publications, friends, etc.
10-18-2011 01:06 PM
Terry
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I agree with you! The LC is a tiny fringe sub culture with it's own set of mores, rituals, lifestyle, etc. and is an unhealthy place for children to grow up because it is essentially a "bubble" with no connection to real life outside of it. Many children who grew up in the LC during the 60s and 70s were not allowed to watch TV, listen to the radio, play sports, dance, celebrate Christmas, Easter or birthdays. Their parents would use their vacation time to go to conferences and trainings held by Mr. Lee. Many families were uprooted and children pulled out of schools mid-semester to migrate or consolidate for the "Lord's" move (read: Lee's move). With such turbulent childhoods is it any wonder many grew up, left the LC and found it difficult to function in society outside the crazy world they grew up in?
I cannot fully agree with you. I do agree to a certain extent. I'm one who was a LC kid during the 70's (pre-school-6th grade). It's a healthy environment up through 6th grade. It was those years from 7th grade-12th grade directions are taken to segregate boys and girls without explanation. Meaning it was impressed upon me it was improper if not sinful for boys and girls to be talking. This impression was carried over into school to if I spoke to a classmate of the opposite gender, I felt as if I was sinning. I believe the segregation is proper to an extent, but the boys and girls need to interact socially to a degree. By no means would I advocate dating is okay.
As to what children growing up in the lc's are allowed to do, in part is defined by how much influence does the system wield over the parents or do the parents raise their children as they see fit. I've been in homes of church kids where there was no tv and in other homes where there were tv's and even an atari game system. As a churchkid in Anaheim, celebrating birthdays, Thanksgiving, etc was common. Maybe for households that were influenced by a Jehovah's Witness background, there would be an aversion to celebrations. I say this in part because the LC is a melting pot of many backgrounds (baptist, mennonite, JW, Catholic, etc).
Seeing how the local churches are today, it seems there's far more emphasis indoctrinating youth in the ministry at an earlier age than I experienced. My feeling as a parent the focus should be purely 100% on the Bible.
10-17-2011 06:21 AM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I agree with you! The LC is a tiny fringe sub culture with it's own set of mores, rituals, lifestyle, etc. and is an unhealthy place for children to grow up because it is essentially a "bubble" with no connection to real life outside of it. Many children who grew up in the LC during the 60s and 70s were not allowed to watch TV, listen to the radio, play sports, dance, celebrate Christmas, Easter or birthdays. Their parents would use their vacation time to go to conferences and trainings held by Mr. Lee. And parents publicly burned photos of their children at "burnings" in parks which were based on the burning of witchcraft books in Acts while their children stood by and watched. Many families were uprooted and children pulled out of schools mid-semester to migrate or consolidate for the "Lord's" move (read: Lee's move). With such turbulent childhoods is it any wonder many grew up, left the LC and found it difficult to function in society outside the crazy world they grew up in?
It just drives me crazy thinking about how we could never celebrate Christmas with our families due to distant pagan origins, but we were allowed as a church to celebrate Chinese New Year in order to "preach the gospel."

Imagine that, living in America, and the only holiday we could safely celebrate was Chinese New Year in February.
10-15-2011 04:07 PM
Unregistered
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I know this thread is very old but I am, essentially, a product of the LCS factor. I am child raised in the Lord's Recovery movement, but I am 22 now with a fully developed mind of reason...No happiness, no peace; almost always social anxiety and distress...My whole take on the whole movement is that it can ruin children, especially if they grow up with differing view points. I fully believe that these kids are being brainwashed and are unable to grow up in a safe and secular environment and are unable to choose what they want to believe, such was my path. And If they did want to believe in anything else, their parents would essentially disown them...
I agree with you! The LC is a tiny fringe sub culture with it's own set of mores, rituals, lifestyle, etc. and is an unhealthy place for children to grow up because it is essentially a "bubble" with no connection to real life outside of it. Many children who grew up in the LC during the 60s and 70s were not allowed to watch TV, listen to the radio, play sports, dance, celebrate Christmas, Easter or birthdays. Their parents would use their vacation time to go to conferences and trainings held by Mr. Lee. And parents publicly burned photos of their children at "burnings" in parks which were based on the burning of witchcraft books in Acts while their children stood by and watched. Many families were uprooted and children pulled out of schools mid-semester to migrate or consolidate for the "Lord's" move (read: Lee's move). With such turbulent childhoods is it any wonder many grew up, left the LC and found it difficult to function in society outside the crazy world they grew up in?
10-13-2011 04:22 PM
John
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I know this thread is very old but I am, essentially, a product of the LCS factor. I am child raised in the Lord's Recovery movement, but I am 22 now with a fully developed mind of reason. I was born in 1988 and accepted Christianity at a young age going to children's meetings. My family is fully enveloped by everything about the Local Church/Recovery/Whatever the hell..

I remember going to young peoples conferences, out of state conferences, summer school of truth; it was fun, but I think essentially meaningless for spiritual growth. In fact all of these events and conferences enforced social rule over my life as a young person growing up by my parents. I was not allowed some freedoms until I reached a certain age, I couldnt hangout with certain people because of what they believed in, my mom burned my dragon badge that I earned in Tae Kwon Do because the of the demon bullcrap which Christians profess about in general. I realized growing up that this is all nonsense, the whole calling on the lord concept was great because I never felt a thing. No happiness, no peace; almost always social anxiety and distress.

My whole take on the whole movement is that it can ruin children, especially if they grow up with differing view points. I fully believe that these kids are being brainwashed and are unable to grow up in a safe and secular environment and are unable to choose what they want to believe, such was my path. And If they did want to believe in anything else, their parents would essentially disown them. This movement needs to change their ways and perceptions quickly because this is the next big christian fundamentalist movement in America. Btw, I am essentially an apathiest, I support gay rights, I support science and critical thinking, and I having a loving girlfriend of four years.
Dear Guest,

I am glad that you posted, but I am so sorry to hear about your mistreatment in the Local Church. Although I did not grow up in the Local Church, I did begin there at just about your current age. At first, I was very excited about the Lord and really enjoyed all the things that went on in the Church. As time went on, as we were being encouraged to give our all for the Church, I began to realize that things were not so good. As I got older and had two sons, this meant that they didn’t get the nurturing that they deserved from Christian parents. It is very unfortunate that parents with good intentions end up sacrificing their children for a Christian movement, when that is not what should have happened.

Eventually, I realized the error of my ways and turned away from the Local Church and all of its activities. I apologized to both of my sons for neglecting them and attempted to make up for some of the lost time. Maybe one day, one or both of your parents will be able to realize that they didn’t do right by you. Surely you are a gift from God who was given to them and are worth more than they could ever imagine. It was not right for the Church to rob you of your parents, and I’m sorry that that happened to you.

It has taken me a long time to admit as an adult, who chose the way of the Local Church, that it robbed me of much of my faith. God had only my best interests at heart and was waiting for me to lean on Him as my true Father, but I ended up leaning on Witness Lee and his leaders for direction. I finally realized that the Church group that I had given my life to had gone down the road of deceitfulness, dishonesty, and corruption and that I had lost my trust in God. It has been a long road coming back to my faith in Him alone.

I encourage you to pray to the Lord Himself in a real way for your own needs rather than to try to implement any techniques you learned in the Local Church. He is real, and He will make Himself real to you. It is a shame that your parents failed you and that the Church failed you—that ought not to have happened—but know that the Lord will not fail you. Do not pay much attention to what you were taught in the Local Church; read the Bible for yourself and talk to Him, and you will find His way for you.

Over time, I do trust that He will help you pick up the pieces of your life and find your way with Him. Looking on the bright side, consider that you have already seen one of the most extreme forms of Christianity, and you have that under your belt as a good lesson of what not to do.

Your heavenly Father loves you even when those on the earth who are supposed to love you do not do so properly. There is faith, hope, and love. I will pray for you that you experience all three in abundance.

In His love with you,

John

P.S.: A book I’ve enjoyed that you might find helpful is Jesus Loves Me by H. L. Roush, Sr.
10-13-2011 12:53 PM
Terry
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Not sure what "social anxiety and distress" you were forced to endure, but that is indeed unfortunate. All to many times young people were forced to perform in public, and this has spoiled many a young heart.
Yes, what exactly is "social anxiety and distress"? I can only speak from my experiences. Being raised in a Christian family and eventually becoming a Christian, lifesyles and events that take place in the world is in contradiction to the Christian life. You could try to fit in, but you won't. Then you have the life as seen in the "Recovery". You may be a Christian in the local churches, but not be absolute for the ministry. You may be a Christian in the local churches who has no desire for the Full Time training. You could try to be just a Christian in the local churches, but if you're not absolute for the ministry, there's an inward realization you just don't fit in. This is where social anxiety comes in. You're just a Christian who doesn't fit in. The distress comes in when your life dreams may be for a career and hopefully sooner than later; marriage and family. However these dreams to not coincide with the pressures and expectation in the local churches to go to college after high school and after college the full time training and after the full time training serving on a college campus somewhere. The distress is being expected to set aside your individual dreams for the collective's best interest.
10-12-2011 02:28 PM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I remember going to young peoples conferences, out of state conferences, summer school of truth; it was fun, but I think essentially meaningless for spiritual growth. In fact all of these events and conferences enforced social rule over my life as a young person growing up by my parents.
It seems you have decided that the Christian life, inside or outside the LC, is not for you. I just wonder then how you would know what is "meaningful for spiritual growth?"


Quote:
I was not allowed some freedoms until I reached a certain age, I couldnt hangout with certain people because of what they believed in, my mom burned my dragon badge that I earned in Tae Kwon Do because the of the demon bullcrap which Christians profess about in general.
All good parents will limit freedoms for their children until they reach a certain age or maturity. My parents sure did that with me. How is that bad? Wasn't it great that your folks paid for Tae Kwon Do? Mine could not afford such luxuries. Perhaps your mom knows and wants what's best for you, so she encouraged sports but discouraged the "demon bullcrap." How much did you really suffer my missing out on demons?

Quote:
I realized growing up that this is all nonsense, the whole calling on the lord concept was great because I never felt a thing. No happiness, no peace; almost always social anxiety and distress.
To me, calling on the name of the Lord is intensely personal. It may be taught in public, but public practice rarely produces anything positive. The Lord likened it to "vain babbling," and warned us against it. Not sure what "social anxiety and distress" you were forced to endure, but that is indeed unfortunate. All to many times young people were forced to perform in public, and this has spoiled many a young heart.

Quote:
My whole take on the whole movement is that it can ruin children, especially if they grow up with differing view points. I fully believe that these kids are being brainwashed and are unable to grow up in a safe and secular environment and are unable to choose what they want to believe, such was my path.
You are right, many young people have been hurt.

Quote:
And If they did want to believe in anything else, their parents would essentially disown them. This movement needs to change their ways and perceptions quickly because this is the next big christian fundamentalist movement in America.
This is perhaps the saddest thing a parent can do. Parents should have unconditional love for every one of their children.

Btw, what did you mean that this is the "next big christian fundamentalist movement in America?"
10-12-2011 09:24 AM
aron
Circular Reasoning

If you don't know what I mean by circular reasoning, I mean it like this:

Say you want to be the Apostle of the Age. The man of the hour. God's oracle on planet earth.

So first you promulgate the doctrine. Get all the evidence to support your thesis, and pooh-pooh anything which points contrary. Then, once you have established your premise, lo and behold it just happens to be you!! You are the Apostle of the age! Wow! Neat, huh?

So the apostle of the age has revealed a teaching, a doctrine which establishes the apostle of the age. And who can argue against the apostle of the age? He is clearly God's mouthpiece today.
10-12-2011 09:16 AM
aron
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guest View Post
I am essentially an apathiest, I support gay rights, I support science and critical thinking, and I having a loving girlfriend of four years.
I am not sure what an "apathiest" is. Apathetic means "I don't care", and atheist means "I don't believe". Not sure what apathiest means.

Other than that, I get where you are coming from. Critical thinking is a good skill to work on. I waited a looong time to get my brain in gear. For years it was "Do what the guy next to you is doing". But eventually I realized that I am responsible for my own behaviors. And my behaviors are affected by my thinking, by the stories I tell myself to make sense of the world. So I am responsible for my own thinking.

So rock on, my friend. Keep thinking critically, and surround yourself with critical thinkers who will question your premises and de-construct your own thought trails, and preserve you from circular reasoning. The history of humankind is replete with "groupthink", the collective, unquestioned circular reasoning which eventually ends up circling the toilet bowl. Better to take the lonely path. Who knows? You may end up meeting God out there. Peace.
10-12-2011 02:46 AM
Unregistered
Re: The LCS Factor

I know this thread is very old but I am, essentially, a product of the LCS factor. I am child raised in the Lord's Recovery movement, but I am 22 now with a fully developed mind of reason. I was born in 1988 and accepted Christianity at a young age going to children's meetings. My family is fully enveloped by everything about the Local Church/Recovery/Whatever the hell..

I remember going to young peoples conferences, out of state conferences, summer school of truth; it was fun, but I think essentially meaningless for spiritual growth. In fact all of these events and conferences enforced social rule over my life as a young person growing up by my parents. I was not allowed some freedoms until I reached a certain age, I couldnt hangout with certain people because of what they believed in, my mom burned my dragon badge that I earned in Tae Kwon Do because the of the demon bullcrap which Christians profess about in general. I realized growing up that this is all nonsense, the whole calling on the lord concept was great because I never felt a thing. No happiness, no peace; almost always social anxiety and distress.

My whole take on the whole movement is that it can ruin children, especially if they grow up with differing view points. I fully believe that these kids are being brainwashed and are unable to grow up in a safe and secular environment and are unable to choose what they want to believe, such was my path. And If they did want to believe in anything else, their parents would essentially disown them. This movement needs to change their ways and perceptions quickly because this is the next big christian fundamentalist movement in America. Btw, I am essentially an apathiest, I support gay rights, I support science and critical thinking, and I having a loving girlfriend of four years.
03-04-2010 12:43 PM
OBW
Re: The LCS Factor

On this little side exchange, I note that the whole idea that Nee had a ministry that Lee could implement but Katz could not almost begs for the existence of "my ministry" which you spoke somewhat against in the section on terminology. If it is truly God's ministry, then there is not the consideration that a person's ministry is implemented, but that a subset of the whole of God's ministry is implemented. The person is not important.

In any case, there is a lot on the table. My part initially sprang from observing quotes from an unknown brother (at least unknown to me) and Ron Kangas, along with some of the commentary surrounding it, then was added to by reference to your response to me. It covers a lot of topics. It probably would be better to focus on one and deal with it before moving to another. That will place the base posts further and further from the forefront over time, but that is not necessarily a problem.

Alternately, we could take this to a new thread and repost the exchange to date. That would at least put the core at the start of the thread.

And if you look further back in this thread (and I wish you wouldn't) you will note that I consider that we are currently tacking onto a black hole topic that turned into a fiasco for all sides of the discussion. I would prefer that the ugly thing that this thread became not be continually brought to the top.

I would prefer a new thread. We can start it with a copy of the post by PriestlyScribe that I referred to and that got this ball rolling. I think that I could copy them all in, and while it would be my name and avatar to the left, they could be headed with the correct poster's name (and I would turn off my signature so that it remains as much like the original as possible). Or we could create the thread with an intro, and see if UntoHim could copy the desired posts over to the new thread. (I think there is a way that moderators can do that. Or maybe he can even tell one of both of us how to do it ourselves.)

Or we can continue right here. Your call.

I am ready.
03-04-2010 09:25 AM
OBW
Re: The LCS Factor

I began the section on terminology with the following:

Quote:
You want to talk about terminology. Yes. That was a favorite of Lee's. Have higher terminology. Make sure that you don't say "go to church." Salt and pepper your religious talk with higher terminology. Make the terminology stand out.
To which you respond:
Quote:
Originally Posted by tasteslikegold View Post
Bull. If anything Lee pointed out the need to keep from being religious in our terminology. We don't "go to church" we are the church. We don't "attend service" we are in His service, etc. Nee pointed out the same things. And even throughout church history we find a constant churning of definitions and re-definitions as culture and various movements in church history affected the language. So I don't buy that Lee believed LC terminology to be any better in terms of what we use and what others use. Certainly he believed that the terminology was more accurate and less religious in its origins, but what exactly is wrong with that? If certain terminology is overly religious - or perceived to be such - or if certain terminology is not as accurate as it could be, why not strive to find something that works and is more accurate; even using language that, by its nature, stimulates deeper fellowship?
You seem to go back and forth about what is important or unimportant about terminology. It is clear from the beginning that using terminology that is “religious” or “overly religious” is a problem to you, Lee, and the LC in general. Yes, terminology may change as culture changes. But unless it is actually intended to say something that is incorrect, then what is the problem with any of it, from the oldest to the newest? Or from the most secular to the most religious?


It is true that people often think of “going to church.” It happens to all Christians, even those in the LC. But since you don’t use that term at all, you think that the thought inside is eliminated. But at the same time, people who are totally engaged in their worship and know that they are the church and that the meeting is just a meeting of the church still use the term. So what? Curse them? I am not saying that you are cursing them, but the LC takes pride in its better terminology. “We are the church. We don’t ‘go to church’.”

There is nothing wrong with being more accurate. But if there is a common term that is accepted by everyone in Christianity as saying “X” why create a different term for it and look down the nose at those who use the common term? You may not, but many do. And the way Lee and the primary coworkers spoke of these things enforced those notions. And your own words make it clear that you think the terminology is important.

Let’s look back at the statements that gave rise to my comments on terminology:
Quote:
Originally Posted by tasteslikegold View Post
Really? I think that you understand very well what "church life" means. It's simply a term which means "My life related to the church." Do you accept Christendom's terms like "church service" or "Sunday school"? You should know what these terms means pretty well without criticizing them, right? What about when someone talks about "my ministry" or when someone says "going to church." Do you criticize them by saying, "The Bible never uses the terms 'my ministry' and it never says 'going to church'"? Do you label these terms meaningless as well?
Here you equate the LC use of the term “church life” to the common use of the terms “my ministry” and “going to church.” But there is a big difference. For the LC, the “church life” is a core component of your spiritual existence. It is not well defined. But everything that is involved in the corporate aspects of the group is thrown in. It is not a “simply.” It is central.


And rewrite the “Doxology” so that you sing “Holy Spirit” rather than “Holy Ghost.” (You may not have experienced this, but it was a regular thing in the Dallas area.) Don’t pray to God in Heaven; pray to God in your spirit. Don’t set your mind on the Spirit; instead turn to your spirit.

If the reality of “turn to your spirit” was simply parallel with “set your mind on the spirit” that would be fine. But it would be better if when talking with the majority of Christians that you use the terminology they understand rather than using your own and wondering why they are giving you blank stares.

And “religion.” There is an altered term. No, Lee did not create an entirely new definition. Instead he took one definition of many and said that was the definition that applied in all cases. And so everything not LC became “religious” in a negative sense. And every time someone uses the term religion or religious in a positive way, it is taken as evidence of degradation because religion is only negative.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tasteslikegold View Post
As for "Lord's Table, Lord's Supper," etc. you know that we use "Lord's Table," and that the term has been around for hundreds of years. Read Chapter 9 of Frank and George Barana's "Pagan Christianity" with regard to the term "Lord's Supper."
Did I suggest a problem with the use of “Lord’s Table”? I surely did not suggest that it was original with the LC. I was suggesting that taking the position that one is superior to another or that the use of the inferior term indicates an inferior Christian is a problem. That the “Lord’s Table” is understood by most Christians, even if not the most commonly used term, makes this one less of an issue with regard to misunderstanding. It is only an issue if the fact of the different terminology creates a sense of superiority.


Yes, if the terminology works for you, that is fine. But when you run up against people who do not use the same terminology and you make no attempt to alter to more common terms, or deem them deficient because of that terminology that there is a problem. And that leads backwards (a little) to the point on the “trumpet.”

Quote:
Originally Posted by tasteslikegold View Post
Actually the "trumpet thing" was more about speaking different dialects absent interpretation. It wasn't about using the same language in different ways. If someone says "Bible study" and I understand it by my terminology to mean "home meeting," then what's it to anyone else? Or if I say "home meeting" and someone else understands it to mean, "Bible study" by their terminology where's the harm? In fact there is currently a growing movement within non-denominational congregations to have "home meetings." Hmmm....sounds a bit familiar to me.
I hope that by that last sentence you don’t think that it is the overflowing of LC ways into mainstream Christianity. Your group is too small and mostly unseen to be a source of such a significant thing. But I digress.


The “trumpet thing” was about confusion and the inability of people to follow and understand what was being said and/or happening. Whether it is about entirely different languages or merely specialized jargon that is not understood by the populace, the effect is the same. So in a modern context, you cannot remove the “unclear sounding of the trumpet” from the effects of specialized terminology that is not commonly understood. While it might be arguably OK to stick to you terminology while within a strictly LC context, once you move into conversation in the larger Christian context, to insist on using your terminology is to sound an uncertain trumpet. Those blank stares should tell you that you have not said to your “audience” what you thought you did.

Right now, I could dazzle you with a bunch of international tax terminology that even newer practitioners in the field do not completely understand. If there were some who dealt in State taxes, they might even think they understand the lingo because there are some common terms. But many of them have different meanings for two areas presumed to be within the same context. But if I were to use my tax jargon and when your eyes glaze over, or you start talking back to me in a manner that makes it clear that you did not understand me, I start mocking you for your lack of understanding, then there is a problem. And it is not with you. It would be with me for presuming that just because I know this term in a particular way that everyone else should also.

So if I say “Holy Communion” does something inside you say “religious”? Even if you mentally assent to the notion that there is nothing wrong with the term, is there still something deeper — some kind of sense that you can’t quite put into words — that sinks? And you (well maybe not you personally) consider that sinking feeling to be a sense in your spirit? Do you really think that God is that concerned about the terminology? Isn’t that a little like washing the outside of the cup?
03-04-2010 06:30 AM
OBW
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by tasteslikegold View Post
Notwithstanding your citation of Katz's recommendation of Nee's books, the above comment by Priestly Scribe appeared to say that Katz implemented the ministry of Watchman Nee better than Witness Lee. Yet Katz was not a constituent of Nee's ministry.
And your point is?? How is it that someone must actually be part of another's ministry to implement the core of that ministry? It is all in writing. And it is easy to find whether Lee or Katz are following Nee the best. I have no idea about Katz, whoever he is. But the starting premise that he must have been part of Nee's ministry to do anything of value with it is purely bogus.

And I will finish later today. Also, you can begin to respond to what I posted. I realize that each of them got longer than I expected, but I tried to keep the topics together. Waiting may not be the better way.
03-03-2010 10:12 PM
Paul Cox
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by tasteslikegold View Post
Notwithstanding your citation of Katz's recommendation of Nee's books, the above comment by Priestly Scribe appeared to say that Katz implemented the ministry of Watchman Nee better than Witness Lee. Yet Katz was not a constituent of Nee's ministry. Other than perhaps reading a few of his books and picking up on the major conceptual tenets of his theology, it's doubtful that he "implemented" Nee's ministry in any full way. Not any better than a man who served both under and alongside Nee for years. Perhaps, at best, Katz advocated the same concepts and implemented a few of them within the scope of his own ministry, but that's hardly implementing the whole of the ministry of Nee as seemed to have been implied.

Mike, let me know when your finished so I can respond. Thus-far it's quite a lot to address point-by-point.
Lee served under and along side Watchman Nee, so that gives him credibility? John Ingalls served under and along side Witness Lee for over two decades. Where is he today? The LSM has stricken his name from every thing he worked on. Even the hymn book you sing from today is a work of cooperation between Witness Lee and John Ingalls. Yet, he is persona non Grata in the Local Church.

Witness Lee was not the only one who worked under and along side Watchman Nee. Neither was he the only one sent out. So far as Lee being the only one sent out to carry on the work? Well, we just have Witness Lee's word on that.

One thing is for sure. The Local Church as we see it today is in total violation of many of the principles laid out by Watchman Nee himself.

Roger
03-03-2010 02:03 PM
OBW
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by tasteslikegold View Post
Your posts drip with cynicism. I'm glad you acknowledge that as something purposeful on your part. My point was that I don't view LC meetings as any less relevant or meaningful to its participants as other Christian meetings who conduct their services in different ways, and neither should you, regardless of your obvious resentments. And no, I don't believe that any person, myself included, feels that the LC's way of conducting "service" is any more superior than other congregations.
All those words need to be put up against the thing I was responding to:
Quote:
Originally Posted by tasteslikegold View Post
As far as your comment regarding the LC meetings is concerned, displaying God's righteousness is not even that. Nor, for that matter is it standing in a Christian "worship meeting" while a band plays a rock version of "Oh My Soul" with your arms up in the air like some kind of spiritual satellite dish.
That does not suggest considering them equally relevant, but “less relevant.” It definitely suggests a sense that the LS’s way of conducting "service" is more superior than some other congregations. I don’t like the way everyone does it. (And I don’t mean that in a don’t like them over it, just not the ways.) But unless there is something inherently wrong with it, I cannot mock it.

It is the air of superiority in the LC ways, lingo, and doctrines that brings out my cynicism. It is not the people. You acknowledge that I was cynical, as had I before that. But my cynicism was aimed at your veiled mocking of the manner of some Christian worship services. That one sentence stands in contrast to your more recent statement that you don’t feel that “the LC's way of conducting ‘service’ is any more superior than other congregations.” I could say something about iron skillets and copper kettles, but I don’t really think that you are willfully evil in this or something like that. We all are prone to speak quickly in favor of our own way and then later wonder whether others noted that how we said it really wasn’t that nice. I know I do. You will probably catch me at it on occasion. Taking the responses offline like I am doing today helps a lot. I end out taking a little more time, especially since I have to do some actual work during the same period.

The biggest problem with the whole LC “way” is that they do think their way is better, even garnering a special blessing from God. And they are so ingrained with that attitude that even otherwise kind people make these horribly condescending statements about the poor condition of all the other Christians “out there” doing their “satellite dish” thing.

All this from the group that makes the most noise about oneness and being “general” about things that are not the core of the faith. Based on that, no matter what the written doctrinal stances are, there is ample evidence that even whether or not a rock band is used is considered a core of the faith to the LC. How about little plastic cups of grape juice and pre-formed wafers for communion? Or slightly larger, almost Styrofoam wafers that get dipped in a bowl of wine or grape juice? Or coming down to the front and having someone put the wafer on your tongue the offer you the cup? (We'll stay out of the whole transubstantiation thing as I don't think either of us consider it orthodox.) Or having the unbroken and unleavened bread made out of whole-wheat flour? I don’t dislike the LC’s way to “do” the Lord’s Table. Well, except for the talk about the specialness of their table and the more ritualistic insistence on the formula of songs and flow than many others observe. The point is to remember. It is not to get the formula right. And without those two distasteful things, an LC Table is really quite good.
03-03-2010 12:04 PM
tasteslikegold
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by PriestlyScribe View Post
Ok, you are right - I should have instead asked you to take a closer look at the Witness Lee Prophesy first, then, maybe go on and listen to what the Lord spoke through Katz.

So, please, instead, watch this short video [3min] of Witness Lee [Nov 1996] in which he focuses on the worsening problem of Terminology Addiction - even an intolerable addiction to his very own "High Peak Truths".

I am fearful and trembling of these two perils: the peril of different works being produced to cause division and the peril of emptiness.

BTW, In some ways [purity of leaders raised up] I think Art Katz did a much better job of implementing the ministry of Watchman Nee than Lee ever did.

P.S.
What?

Art Katz had nothing at all to do with Watchman Nee.
03-03-2010 09:22 AM
OBW
Re: The LCS Factor

I will respond to tasteslikegold’s post #1334 in this series in multiple posts to shorten each one. Before I start, since I am doing the drafting off-line, I am somewhat crippled in format in that the imbedded portions of TLG’s post that had bolding or other special formatting are typically lost when copying back into the forum. I will try to find and reset each part to its original, but make no promises that I will be consistent or successful at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tasteslikegold View Post
Well first, I didn't create a straw man from your argument. You did, however, write that "God's righteousness is expressed when we have good family relationships, good work relationships, righteous dealings with our customers, right living as we drive along the highway. You would agree that simply having "good relationships" and "right living" outside the influence of Christ is not sufficient in displaying the kingdom, right? To me saying, "good relationships" is the same as saying "crank it out on our own." The best we have is "goodness" in ourselves.
With respect to “cranking it out on our own” I agree that this is not the Kingdom. While you may not have intended to make a strawman argument, it is your presumption that I meant something that I did not say that lead to your error. While we will get to terminology in another post, you would seem to have transferred “goodness” from something that exudes from God and can only be truly achieved through Him into something human and fallen. And even if “goodness” is only used as an impartial adjective to describe the actual actions, it makes no automatic presumption about how those actions came to be. That presumption was entirely on your part. Given the rest of my context, it is hard to claim that I meant to simply grind it out.

There is your strawman, whether you intended it or not.

Read what I write, not what the LC lexicon says I mean by it.
03-03-2010 09:09 AM
PriestlyScribe
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by tasteslikegold View Post
What in the world does Art Katz have to do with the Lord's Recovery? You are relating two entirely different messages here.
Ok, you are right - I should have instead asked you to take a closer look at the Witness Lee Prophesy first, then, maybe go on and listen to what the Lord spoke through Katz.

So, please, instead, watch this short video [3min] of Witness Lee [Nov 1996] in which he focuses on the worsening problem of Terminology Addiction - even an intolerable addiction to his very own "High Peak Truths".

I am fearful and trembling of these two perils: the peril of different works being produced to cause division and the peril of emptiness.

BTW, In some ways [purity of leaders raised up] I think Art Katz did a much better job of implementing the ministry of Watchman Nee than Lee ever did.

P.S.
03-03-2010 12:20 AM
tasteslikegold
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by PriestlyScribe View Post
Ok, then try listening to the first 10min of this message - it examines false reliance upon spiritual terminology in great detail:

''What If'' (Are We Deceived?) Message Related FTTA Outline HYMN 426

P.S.
What in the world does Art Katz have to do with the Lord's Recovery? You are relating two entirely different messages here.

Sorry, I just don't "get" how your prior post, in which you cite a so-called "prophesy" by Witness Lee, is related to the audio of Art Katz, and the outline you linked, which is not at all related to Katz's message.

Arthur Katz was not at any time connected with the Lord's Recovery. Furthermore, what is perhaps the most damaging of Katz was his rhetorical criticism of Christianity in general (In fact, often his messages were in tone much harsher than Witness Lee's), and more startling, his apparent avocation of "replacement theology." Ironic, since he was raised a Jew.
03-02-2010 10:37 PM
PriestlyScribe
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by tasteslikegold View Post
This has nothing to do with terminology in the least. This has to do with having the same living as that which we preach.

Much different that what OBW mentioned.


Try again.
Ok, then try listening to the first 10min of this message - it examines false reliance upon spiritual terminology in great detail:

''What If'' (Are We Deceived?) Message Related FTTA Outline HYMN 426

P.S.
03-02-2010 10:04 PM
tasteslikegold
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by PriestlyScribe View Post
The reason you should get over the "terminology" addiction is because IT IS NOT WORKING, and Witness Lee already knew that this would be the outcome, way back in 1983.

Below is the prophesy that he spoke to all of the Elders back then. And there is no denying that it has come to pass exactly as WL predicted!

''THE TWO PERILS''

Witness Lee's Emphatic and Prescient Warning to the Elders
"If we are not in the focus and if we do not experience what we preach to others, we face two perils. One, sooner or later there will be divisions. Two, if we don't practice the focal points, the saints have no way to practice them. The things we teach will eventually become doctrines in the Lord's recovery. There will be no reality. The recovery will be just empty. Then in the sphere of the so-called recovery there will be divisions and emptiness... The only thing that can keep the Lord's recovery full of reality is to practice what we now preach and teach and to help the saints in every locality to practice the same thing." "If we expect an increase either by evangelism or by the spreading of the doctrines we teach, we shall surely face these two perils... To care for the spread of our work is dangerous. It will produce different works to build up different ministries. Then division will result. We can foresee this. Furthermore, if we don't pay full attention to practice these things in our daily life and to bring all the saints in our local church into these practices in their daily life, the churches will be empty. I am fearful and trembling of these two perils: the peril of different works being produced to cause division and the peril of emptiness. We will have the ground of one church, one city, and we will have the scriptural teachings, yet there will be no real experience of Christ in our daily life... And if we don't practice the focal things experientially, spontaneously we will fall into the snare of emptiness. We may boast that our teachings are scriptural, that we don't have forms, rituals, or organization. It may be true that we don't have these things, but we don't have the reality either. What we have is just emptiness. This is quite serious, brothers. We have to be alerted to stay in the central lane, practicing all the focal things ourselves daily. We must also be burdened to help the saints in our locality practice these things, to grow in life that they might be genuinely and practically built up in the Trinity."
( Practical Talks to the Elders #4, Pages 62-63, by Witness Lee, on March 14, 1983, in Anaheim CA - Living Stream Ministry)


Recommended Remedial Materials - by Arthur Katz
:

''What If'' (Are We Deceived?)
Message Related FTTA Outline HYMN 426

P.S.
This has nothing to do with terminology in the least. This has to do with having the same living as that which we preach.

Much different that what OBW mentioned.


Try again.
03-02-2010 09:59 PM
tasteslikegold
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Again, you are correct. These same two points motivated me to expose Ron Kangas' false teaching regarding the foundational Priorities for Parents in the local churches. This angers the Lord Jesus Christ greatly and it must be brought out into the light and dealt with.
A teaching that is "false" can be quantified. Please cite by way of your apparent vast collection of recordings the instance where Ron Kangas contradicted or taught falsely regarding the "foundational priorities for parents in the local churches." Also, I would like to hear or receive textual transcription of messages in which Witness Le specifically addressed what the "foundational priorities for parents in the local churches" are. PLease outline them for me here.

Thank you.
03-02-2010 09:48 PM
PriestlyScribe
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by tasteslikegold View Post
Why should we "get over" the terminology if it happens to work for us?
The reason you should get over the "terminology" addiction is because IT IS NOT WORKING, and Witness Lee already knew that this would be the outcome, way back in 1983.

Below is the prophesy that he spoke to all of the Elders back then. And there is no denying that it has come to pass exactly as WL predicted!

''THE TWO PERILS''

Witness Lee's Emphatic and Prescient Warning to the Elders
"If we are not in the focus and if we do not experience what we preach to others, we face two perils. One, sooner or later there will be divisions. Two, if we don't practice the focal points, the saints have no way to practice them. The things we teach will eventually become doctrines in the Lord's recovery. There will be no reality. The recovery will be just empty. Then in the sphere of the so-called recovery there will be divisions and emptiness... The only thing that can keep the Lord's recovery full of reality is to practice what we now preach and teach and to help the saints in every locality to practice the same thing." "If we expect an increase either by evangelism or by the spreading of the doctrines we teach, we shall surely face these two perils... To care for the spread of our work is dangerous. It will produce different works to build up different ministries. Then division will result. We can foresee this. Furthermore, if we don't pay full attention to practice these things in our daily life and to bring all the saints in our local church into these practices in their daily life, the churches will be empty. I am fearful and trembling of these two perils: the peril of different works being produced to cause division and the peril of emptiness. We will have the ground of one church, one city, and we will have the scriptural teachings, yet there will be no real experience of Christ in our daily life... And if we don't practice the focal things experientially, spontaneously we will fall into the snare of emptiness. We may boast that our teachings are scriptural, that we don't have forms, rituals, or organization. It may be true that we don't have these things, but we don't have the reality either. What we have is just emptiness. This is quite serious, brothers. We have to be alerted to stay in the central lane, practicing all the focal things ourselves daily. We must also be burdened to help the saints in our locality practice these things, to grow in life that they might be genuinely and practically built up in the Trinity."
( Practical Talks to the Elders #4, Pages 62-63, by Witness Lee, on March 14, 1983, in Anaheim CA - Living Stream Ministry)


Recommended Remedial Materials - by Arthur Katz
:

''What If'' (Are We Deceived?)
Message Related FTTA Outline HYMN 426

P.S.
03-02-2010 03:24 PM
tasteslikegold
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
The Kingdom is the righteousness of God expressed and displayed. But Lee/RK would have us ignore righteousness and just focus on uber-spirituality by just talking about and being involved in "Christ and the church." I'm not sure that Christ is very involved in that endeavor. At least not the way that Lee/RK/BP/the BBs would like to make it be.

God's righteousness is expressed when we have good family relationships, good work relationships, righteous dealings with our customers, right living as we drive along the highway. His Kingdom comes when there are people living according the the restored position as representatives of God on the earth. Not just in religious meetings having a joyous time popping out of our seats to repeat our "portion" from HWMR or reading from the collected works of Nee and Lee.
I cannot agree with your definition of righteousness nor your characterization of LC meetings. A proper definition of righteousness is "absolute uprightness before God." In terms of the period of the law from Moses until Christ it was related to the keeping of the law. In terms of the church-age, from Christ onward, it is a matter of faith, of believing into Christ (Rom. 4:3; 1:17; 3:22, etc.). Any so-called "righteous behavior" in and of ourselves - even as Christians - is completely insufficient to properly display the kingdom of God. We have to be related to Christ and the church has to be related to Christ. Without regular involvement with Christ - our personal interactions with Him - and without our regular interactions with the Body of Christ, the church, we cannot display the righteousness of God. Not in any way, shape or form. I don't care how "good" you are to your family, friends, co-workers or customers.

As far as your comment regarding the LC meetings is concerned, displaying God's righteousness is not even that. Nor, for that matter is it standing in a Christian "worship meeting" while a band plays a rock version of "Oh My Soul" with your arms up in the air like some kind of spiritual satellite dish.

Quote:
Pushing your kids aside so you can get to more meetings is the opposite of righteous living.
Which is exactly why we bring our children to the meeting.

Quote:
But there is one more thing in that brother's statement that is very telling. He is now convinced that "they may not all make it into the church life" and this concerns him. What is he "church life"? Where is this described in the scripture? And what is this "make it" thing about? (John So came to Dallas back in the 70s and asked that very question. "What are you trying to make?" "Make what?") As few times as the word church, assembly or however you want to translate it is used in the NT, I am not aware of any that talk about a "church life." I can find Christ's life. I can find living your life in a manner that is worthy of the gospel. But no "church life."

I feel very sorry for the people who are bound by a need to "make it" when the "it" is something as meaningless as the "church life."
Really? I think that you understand very well what "church life" means. It's simply a term which means "My life related to the church." Do you accept Christendom's terms like "church service" or "Sunday school"? You should know what these terms means pretty well without criticizing them, right? What about when someone talks about "my ministry" or when someone says "going to church." Do you criticize them by saying, "The Bible never uses the terms 'my ministry' and it never says 'going to church'"? Do you label these terms meaningless as well?

Doubtful.
03-02-2010 09:15 AM
OBW
Re: The LCS Factor

In the middle of Priestly Scribes last post was a transcription of a question "from the audience." In the middle of the question came this comment:

And I know that, you know, even our children, the Lord has their own course for them. And they may not all make it into the church life.

Ron Kangas goes on to respond that "first is Christ and the church." In fact, he actually says "we are here seeking the Kingdom first. And first is Christ and the church." So in the LC theology according to RK, the Kingdom is "simply Christ and the church."

NOT

The Kingdom is the righteousness of God expressed and displayed. But Lee/RK would have us ignore righteousness and just focus on uber-spirituality by just talking about and being involved in "Christ and the church." I'm not sure that Christ is very involved in that endeavor. At least not the way that Lee/RK/BP/the BBs would like to make it be.

God's righteousness is expressed when we have good family relationships, good work relationships, righteous dealings with our customers, right living as we drive along the highway. His Kingdom comes when there are people living according the the restored position as representatives of God on the earth. Not just in religious meetings having a joyous time popping out of our seats to repeat our "portion" from HWMR or reading from the collected works of Nee and Lee.

Pushing your kids aside so you can get to more meetings is the opposite of righteous living.

But there is one more thing in that brother's statement that is very telling. He is now convinced that "they may not all make it into the church life" and this concerns him. What is he "church life"? Where is this described in the scripture? And what is this "make it" thing about? (John So came to Dallas back in the 70s and asked that very question. "What are you trying to make?" "Make what?") As few times as the word church, assembly or however you want to translate it is used in the NT, I am not aware of any that talk about a "church life." I can find Christ's life. I can find living your life in a manner that is worthy of the gospel. But no "church life."

I feel very sorry for the people who are bound by a need to "make it" when the "it" is something as meaningless as the "church life."
02-18-2010 02:44 PM
countmeworthy
Re: There is a Solution

Quote:
Originally Posted by PriestlyScribe View Post
Deuteronomy 5:16 tells us to honor our parents so that we may live long and so things will go well with us. No age limit is specified, which leads us to believe that as long as our parents are alive, we should honor them.
Hey P.S....Countess Worthy here.

On Halloween, I buy candy for the tricker-treaters but along with the candy I put in their bags, I place colored index cards in their bags with scriptures on them.

I always use Ephesians 6:3 which is similar to Deuteronomy 5:16.

Honor your Mother and Father that it may be well with you.

It is followed by Ephesians 6:8: Knowing that whatever good thing you do, you will receive back from the Lord.
The second index card with scriptures I throw in their bags is:

Psalm 14:1 The FOOL has said in his heart "There is no God". But the Favor of God and His Love through the Lord Jesus Christ will open doors no person can close. Revelation 3:8

And

John 14:6: NO person, man, woman, child can go to the Father God but through Jesus for Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life and there is No other Name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12.
Ya know....you gotta make the best out of every opportunity. I pray for the Lord to anoint the scriptures and for Him to speak to the reader of the cards. You never know who will get saved, or return to the Lord.
02-18-2010 02:28 PM
countmeworthy
Re: The LCS Factor

I am saddened by soo many troubled marriages among Christians...LCrs and otherwise as well as secular marriages.

I have never gotten married...Don't know why but I have never had a strong 'urge' to be married. Jeremiah did not get married and recently at a conference the minister of the Word of God brought this out. My silly friend turned to me and said she was changing my name to Jeremiah. Too funny !
I am very content being single and am able to pray w/o ceasing pray, study the Word of God, meditate on it, build up the Body of Christ, share the gospel, and have FUN, FUN, FUN doing it. Of course, spiritual warfare ain't always fun. And while the JOY of the LORD is my Strength, I dare NOT remove the WHOLE Armour of GOD. I wear it 24/7 because I know all too well the wiles of the devil ! So I protect my thoughts at all times ( or try to anyway) by making sure the Helmet of Salvation is securely adjusted on my head. I make sure the Breastplate of Righteousness is protecting my heart from growing cold or hardened. I don't let go the Shield of Faith which protects me from the firey darts hurled at me with one hand and with the other I hold on to tightly to the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. My loins are girded with the TRUTH...and JESUS is the Way, the Truth and the LIFE. My feet are firmly grounded with the gospel of Peace and I am COVERED by the BLOOD of the LAMB.

You married friends....remember: CHRIST, the ANOINTED ONE, IN YOU is the HOPE of your GLORY...and your marriage, your children are your Glory. Don't let the devil make mincemeat out of you.

So the Lee ministry screwed up in teaching the married couples how to be strong in the Lord. Too bad soo many of us were blind sheep. Couples should have been sitting together in meetings. There should have been more meetings catered to families. A 'sing in' as we used to call them filled with Praise, Worship and JOY should have been incorporated every two weeks allowing children to participate with their parents and church friends, cousins, and even secular friends.

But that was then...this is now.

I pray the Lord will restore your health and heal your wounds as He promises in Jeremiah 30:17 I believe it says.

OUR Heavenly CREATOR, the Father of GLORY LOVES US !!! Gosh, so many people in the LC or former FORGOT that TRUTH. We were drawn to HIM because HE drew us to Himself. And once we surrendered our lives to the Lord, that low-down, no good THIEF threw a snare trying to steal, kill and destroy families and friendships in the name of religion.

But we know how the story ends. So be of good courage. We have a GREAT, AWESOME, WONDERFUL GREAT PHYSICIAN and what Satan meant for evil, GOD will turn for Good. He did it for Joseph. He did it for me.

Delight in Him as Psalm 37:4 tells us and He will grant you/us the desires of your heart.

And you married brothers: When your wife says: YOU JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND ME !!!! Tell them that when God created Adam, he did not watch God make Eve for he was asleep. uttingtosleep: If he had been awake, he might have figured out what makes Eve tick. And because he didn't, you don't know how to figure out your wife. Give her lots of hugs and ask the LORD to help you make her laugh. Humor is such a healing property in our lives. SHOULD the LORD ever bring someone to me to marry, I have a tall order...and high on the list is my husband better be FUNNY. Not forced funny but naturally, gifted witty and funny.

Your friend in Christ,
Carol
02-08-2010 02:04 PM
PriestlyScribe
Re: There is a Solution

Quote:
Originally Posted by PriestlyScribe View Post

Malachi Ch4

6 And he will turn the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a curse.
I feel there are two main reasons that we allowed our hearts to be re-directed away from our wife and children, and toward the so called church:

(1) Most of us lacked Godly positive role models for this while growing up. Later on in life it was very difficult to find a good pattern among the leaders in the churches.
(2) Few of us heard any healthy definitive teaching on how we should care for our families according to God and the Bible. Or, we heard it only once in a piecemeal fashion, never to be repeated again.

Below is a quote which will likely be seen as outright HERESY by the "up-to-date-Vision" loyalists in the local churches. But it is the truth from the Bible, and If I took the time, It would be easy to back up each point by quoting directly from the ministry of Watchman Nee and (early) Witness Lee.

Question: What Should be the order of Priorities in our Family?
Audio MP3: Family Priorities

Answer:
The Bible does not lay out a step-by-step order for family relationship priorities. However, we can still look to the Scriptures and find general principles for prioritizing our family relationships. God obviously comes first: Deuteronomy 6:5, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” All of one’s heart, soul, and strength is to be committed to loving God, making Him the first priority.

If you are married, your spouse comes next. A married man is to love his wife as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). Christ’s first priority—after obeying and glorifying the Father—was the church. Here is an example a husband should follow: God first, then his wife. In the same way, wives are to submit to their husbands “as to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22). The principle is that a woman’s husband is second only to God in her priorities.

If husbands and wives are second only to God in our priorities, and since a husband and wife are one flesh (Ephesians 5:31), it stands to reason that the result of the marriage relationship—children—should be the next priority. Parents are to raise godly children who will be the next generation of those who love the Lord with all their hearts (Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4), showing once again that God comes first. All other family relationships should reflect that.

Deuteronomy 5:16 tells us to honor our parents so that we may live long and so things will go well with us. No age limit is specified, which leads us to believe that as long as our parents are alive, we should honor them. Of course, once a child reaches adulthood, he is no longer obligated to obey them (“Children, obey your parents...”), but there is no age limit to honoring them. We can conclude from this that parents are next in the list of priorities after God, our spouses, and our children. After parents comes the rest of one's family (1 Timothy 5:8).

Following one’s extended family in the list of priorities are fellow believers. Romans 14 tells us not to judge or look down upon our brothers (v. 10) or do anything to cause a fellow Christian to “stumble” or fall spiritually. Much of the book of 1 Corinthians is Paul’s instructions on how the church should live together in harmony, loving one another. Other exhortations referring to our brothers and sisters in Christ are “serve one another in love” (Galatians 5:13); “be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32); “encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11); and “consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24). Finally comes the rest of the world (Matthew 28:19), to whom we should bring the gospel, making disciples of Christ.

In conclusion, the scriptural order of priorities is God, spouse, children, parents, extended family, brothers and sisters in Christ, and then the rest of the world. While sometimes decisions must be made to focus on one person over another, the goal is to not be neglecting any of our relationships. The biblical balance is allowing God to empower us to meet all of our relationship priorities, inside and outside our families.

© Copyright 2002-2010 Got Questions Ministries. www.GotQuestions.org

P.S.
02-04-2010 11:59 PM
PriestlyScribe
Re: There is a Solution

One further suggestion I would like to make, after having skimmed all the way back to the disturbing start of this thread. Our God is well able to heal much of the damage that we or others may have caused, if we will just open our hearts up to the light of His countenance.

For some, the following message on recovering from "Spiritual Abuse" can serve as a catalyst in moving toward healing and restoration:



Restoring The Christian Family - by Jack Frost
Find More Material At: MendingFamily.com

Malachi Ch4

5 I am about to send Elijah the prophet to you before the great and terrible day of Jehovah comes; 6 And he will turn the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a curse.

P.S.
02-03-2010 11:29 PM
PriestlyScribe
Re: There is an enemy!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
In the LCS there was a real lack of vision regarding the very crucial and critical role of the family in God's plan and purpose. Sadly, in the LCS, many parents made serious mistakes and did not receive needed healthy instruction regarding raising children for the Lord. Frankly, I absolutely love to speak of the family and how powerful the four generational wall of testimony is. (By the way the scriptures reveals the principle of four generations standing together for the Lord's testimony.)
Hope, your words above describe the very realization that compelled me to make Chuck Debelak's speaking available to all Christian parents, whether inside or outside of the churches. I have more of it on hand that has not yet been processed for posting on the internet.



Family: God's Unit of Salvation
See Also: OurSecondGeneration.com

P.S.
09-07-2009 05:27 PM
awareness
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Roger:
But I have an idea who he is, and he has a history with the Local Church, also. His comment about the ministry of Witness Lee being an addiction is spot on. I have first hand evidence of this. It may not have been an addiction to you, but believe me, brother, it is to many.
I'm with you Roger. I undoubtedly felt I was coming off an addiction when coming out of the LC.

Maybe that's why I'm like DJ. And say things like "Lord save the saints but kill the beast. Die, die, die, beast..."

There's nothing worse than an ex-something. Ex-smokers are typically the most legal and condemnatory, and so too are recovering alcoholics. They have to be. The addiction can get 'em again. Harsh boundaries are required.

And I've been harsh toward the LC ever since coming out. It's saved me many times from falling for other addictions. And since then no one, ever, controls me. I'll have none of it, even when working for someone. I'll tell any such ones to pack sand in a heart beat. Moreover, no one gets my mind. No one! Period. I think for myself. I work at sniffing out any thoughts where I'm thinking them because of conventions, and such like.

I'm a recovering Lee-alcoholic. I admit it. I'm playing with fire even being this close to the LC.

So thank God for DJ. Shout it from the rooftops brother.

And DJ, due to an addict wife, I joined Al-anon. I've learned much about addiction, and what it does to children ; even children that never knew one of their parents were alcoholic because it was hidden from them. The damage is still done, even when it's hidden.
05-07-2009 12:48 PM
YP0534
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
It is a place of death.

Last. It is just my opinion.

Opinion and discernment are not incompatible things.
05-07-2009 11:48 AM
OBW
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by bookworm View Post
Your quite flippant demands that I "start a new thread" and assumption that I would like to "dig deeper" into the accounts of these second-generation LC members is off the wall and a gross "mis-characterization of my response" -- to use your own words.
When I suggest that new threads be started for specific purposes, it was an explicit admission that there may be reasons to continue some of the sub-topics that went on. And even if not, that is any member's prerogative. The point was not to grant my permission. Mine is not needed.

But I am serious about how this thread has turned out. My hope in suggesting that this thread die is that there might be a better chance of getting those "cooler heads" if we take the discussion somewhere else and not simply continue to build upon this horrible foundation.

I must assume that you do not actually read much on this forum. When I said what I did about "digging" it was not an accusation of evil intention on your part or anyone else's. I will admit that there is probably some useful information to be gained if we did dig. Neither was I suggesting that you specifically seemed to want to do that. I merely said "if." It may not be your desire. But in a public forum in which every discussion is not in isolation, I know that there are some that want to do that. I accused you of nothing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bookworm View Post
You have your opinion that "this thread needs to be locked" but that is just what it is-- your opinion. I agree with Unto and his statement of "maybe there is still a lot to be gained here, that is if cooler heads prevail. Remember 'you can listen as well as you hear'".
And I have said that it is my opinion on more than one occasion. The history is that every time it starts up, cooler heads do not prevail. I'm simply looking at history and suggesting that despite some attempts by cooler heads in the past to ramp down the extreme rhetoric, they appear unable to prevail. So we should try one more time and see if it works this time? Still just an opinion offered in hopes of peace. Do I think that I was always a cooler head? No. But I really don't recall much of anyone being exempt except one or two who mostly stayed out and came back occasionally to ask "what is going on here?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by bookworm View Post
It would be generous of you to back off from your accusations of ulterior motives and allow others to read and post on this thread as they are led.
I don't recall accusing any of ulterior motives. But I did state that some were clearly painting with a broad brush that was not consistent with the available data. I can disagree with that without thinking they have ulterior motives. I did question motives a few months ago when certain posts were made saying one thing while others in support of those posts caused them to be understood to say another. I was eventually convinced that the original posts were entirely voluntary and that the misuse of those posts was an illogical reach by others to say something not present in those posts. This is part of the broad brush issue. I can acknowledge the error in thinking that there was motive in the underlying posts, but am free to conclude that what others made of it was not a rational or logical extension. You are free to disagree. Others can decide for themselves who is correct.

I will not respond again on this topic. Other than note that your recent resurrection of this thread was in the form of a "calling out" which is consistent with the bad blood of this thread (which many of us have shared, including myself) I have presented my reasons for letting this now 1,300+ post landmark to our ability to shred each other disappear into the archives. UntoHim is the one who will ultimately decide whether to simply lock it so that its fate is certain. Without that, I only suggest that we all treat as if locked and carry separate discussion elsewhere. I do not deny the possibility of relevant inquiry. I just hate to look back into the quagmire in the earlier pages. It is a place of death.

Last. It is just my opinion.
05-07-2009 09:26 AM
bookworm
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
And as to my "strong verbose response to your quoting of scripture" you completely missed the thrust of my post(s). I acknowledged that what you actually wrote was good. I did appreciate the verses. But they were almost completely disjointed from the quote that preceded it. So there were two major things in your post. First, a quote from a few months back with a note that it had been some time. Then came the rest of your post. I made no specific comment about your quoting of scripture. If you choose to mis-characterize my response in this manner, it is simply further evidence of the nature of this thread and what it has done to so many of us. It underscores the reason that this thread should be locked. If you want to ask about John's challenge, start a new thread. If you want to dig into anything about what the accounts of BlessD and JulieP might tell us beyond their actual facts, start a thread. (I dread the latter because, even with no former elder around it will require a thorough revelation of details and I don't think that those sisters really want that. And I don't blame them.)
Mike,

I am glad to know that you did appreciate the verses I quoted from Nehemiah. Actually they do fit well with my original post, asking John Anderson regarding his posts #1303 and 1304, in which he defends his wife and family and requests that Don R. actually read The Thread of Gold before making judgments regarding Jane and her personality/character.

Your quite flippant demands that I "start a new thread" and assumption that I would like to "dig deeper" into the accounts of these second-generation LC members is off the wall and a gross "mis-characterization of my response" -- to use your own words.

You have your opinion that "this thread needs to be locked" but that is just what it is-- your opinion. I agree with Unto and his statement of "maybe there is still a lot to be gained here, that is if cooler heads prevail. Remember 'you can listen as well as you hear'".

It would be generous of you to back off from your accusations of ulterior motives and allow others to read and post on this thread as they are led.
05-06-2009 11:26 PM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
I must admit that it had some of the same effect the first time I heard it after my Mom died. Like you, we were not strangers, but I'm sure that I would have liked to clear some things better than happened during that six months as her health failed.
It's now been a quarter century since my own mother's sudden death, at a time when I was a total ministry junkie. How I regret all my condemnations and arguments with her about idols and holidays. There's no way to see "eye to eye" with the ones we love, when all we are eating is the ministry of condemnation.
05-06-2009 08:55 PM
UntoHim
Re: The LCS Factor

Not to worry dear kts, that part was aimed at the comment and not you personally!

Yes, much grace, peace and love be with us all. And you know what...we can have all these without seeing eye to eye.

-
05-06-2009 06:28 PM
kisstheson
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post

Some poster mentioned something recently about "evil speaking". Well, frank dialogue, even if it gets a little personal, or even if it hits home a little hard, is not evil, except maybe within the little sheltered world of the Local Church system.

Aiiiiiieeeeeee!! I think this was aimed at me! Yes, dear ones, that "some poster" who mentioned "evil speaking" was indeed me.

OK, dear brother UntoHim. I do receive your verbal correction. I admit that dialogue can be frank without being "evil speaking".

Carry on, dear ones. Just keep in mind dear brother Igzy's "Rule #1 for internet discussion forums": "Don't get touchy!!"

Much grace, peace, and love be with us all.
05-06-2009 02:25 PM
OBW
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
I cried like a baby the first time I head that one again after my dad died. Owch...still hurts big time. Wow...."the living years"....yes, very profound.
I must admit that it had some of the same effect the first time I heard it after my Mom died. Like you, we were not strangers, but I'm sure that I would have liked to clear some things better than happened during that six months as her health failed.
05-06-2009 02:22 PM
OBW
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by ABrotherInChrist View Post
I like it too, secular or not. But it really does stick in the head if you don't quickly drown it out with something else, I find. Thankfully, my father is still alive, and I have had the chance to see him eye to eye (as much as is possible with two separate people, of course). There is a LOT of my father in me, I've found as I grew up.
Believe me. I know what you mean. My wife tells me all the time how much I look and act like my Dad.

But I am one of those that unless the song is something really stupid like "I've got a lovely bunch..." I'm quite happy to let it play for a while in the quadraphonic world in my head. A Question of Balance is playing right now, both figuratively and literally. I'll be humming one of those songs for a while. Probably "And the Tide Rushes In" or "Its up to You." Most will have no idea about those songs.
05-06-2009 01:57 PM
ABrotherInChrist
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Hey. I like that song. It may be secular, but it is quite profound.
I like it too, secular or not. But it really does stick in the head if you don't quickly drown it out with something else, I find. Thankfully, my father is still alive, and I have had the chance to see him eye to eye (as much as is possible with two separate people, of course). There is a LOT of my father in me, I've found as I grew up.
05-06-2009 12:15 PM
UntoHim
Re: The LCS Factor

Why ABiC and OBW what ever are you talking about............

darn, darn, darn... thought maybe I could slip one past ya'll and think that I made it up!

I cried like a baby the first time I head that one again after my dad died. Owch...still hurts big time. Wow...."the living years"....yes, very profound.

So, now that the cat's outta the bag...
In The Living Years


-
05-06-2009 11:26 AM
OBW
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by ABrotherInChrist View Post
Thanks... now I'll have that song in my head all day... And SO appropriate to this thread (and forum) I might add.

Thanks a lot, UntoHim... now I'll need to play a Petra CD or something to drive Mike & the Mechanics outta my head
Hey. I like that song. It may be secular, but it is quite profound.
05-06-2009 11:19 AM
ABrotherInChrist
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
So maybe there is still a lot to be gained here, that is if cooler heads prevail. Remember "you can listen as well as you hear".
Thanks... now I'll have that song in my head all day... And SO appropriate to this thread (and forum) I might add.

Thanks a lot, UntoHim... now I'll need to play a Petra CD or something to drive Mike & the Mechanics outta my head
05-06-2009 10:38 AM
UntoHim
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
...It underscores the reason that this thread should be locked. If you want to ask about John's challenge, start a new thread. If you want to dig into anything about what the accounts of BlessD and JulieP might tell us beyond their actual facts, start a thread. (I dread the latter because, even with no former elder around it will require a thorough revelation of details and I don't think that those sisters really want that. And I don't blame them.)
Earlier:
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessD View Post
I would ask one thing, please do not discuss my personal story if it is only to make your own point or win an argument. This was not my purpose in sharing. I respectfully request my history not be misused or further questioned since I will not be present to clarify or defend myself from accusation
Ok, carry on then guys. I don't think it's a good thing to start another thread that is just going to carry on with one of the major themes of this existing thread.

One thing I would ask is that we all try extra hard to not "misunderstand on purpose". I have seen a lot of that in this thread. Didn't we all get enough of the ole "saying something without really saying it" gig in the Local Church? Some poster mentioned something recently about "evil speaking". Well, frank dialogue, even if it gets a little personal, or even if it hits home a little hard, is not evil, except maybe within the little sheltered world of the Local Church system.

So maybe there is still a lot to be gained here, that is if cooler heads prevail. Remember "you can listen as well as you hear".

-
05-06-2009 09:58 AM
OBW
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by bookworm View Post
The strong, verbose response to my quoting of scripture and attempt at followup on postings from this otherwise forgotten thread speaks volumes regarding the spiritual battle going on regarding this thread. Think about it. This thread containing actual testimonies from second-generation LC members leads to such a defensive response from a "former elder" that it causes strong condemnation by those apparently still strongly influenced by him. None of these testimonies insisted that there was a "uniform pattern of wanton misconduct that can be laid at the feet of every LC and every LC leader in any way." These testimonies were, indeed, very focused on each individual's experience. The defensive response was to accuse such testimonies of "painting with a broad brush."
You are correct that the testimonies themselves did not insist upon, or even try to say that there was such a broad pattern of misconduct. It was the words of those surrounding the testimony and using it to say it anyway. They sought to use specific instances to cast blame onto others or to deny their own testimonies that everything was not "one size fits all."

The testimonies themselves were not a broad brush. And in no case did any of the persons who gave such testimonies try to paint more than their own testimony. It was the insistence of others to make those testimonies into more than they were. And what were they? Primary evidence of gross misdeeds of some of the LC leadership. Misdeeds that should have resulted in their removal from "office."

And if you think that I am influenced by any past elder, even weakly, you are mistaken. My own comments were my own. But do you assert that any past elder who has spoken on the issue has lied about anything? Has anyone done anything worse than note that he could not understand how something with as broad an attendance as was suggested could have escaped his knowledge? He could be wrong. Do you deny anyone else the right to ask other questions about other things just because you don't like the possible implications?

And as to my "strong verbose response to your quoting of scripture" you completely missed the thrust of my post(s). I acknowledged that what you actually wrote was good. I did appreciate the verses. But they were almost completely disjointed from the quote that preceded it. So there were two major things in your post. First, a quote from a few months back with a note that it had been some time. Then came the rest of your post. I made no specific comment about your quoting of scripture. If you choose to mis-characterize my response in this manner, it is simply further evidence of the nature of this thread and what it has done to so many of us. It underscores the reason that this thread should be locked. If you want to ask about John's challenge, start a new thread. If you want to dig into anything about what the accounts of BlessD and JulieP might tell us beyond their actual facts, start a thread. (I dread the latter because, even with no former elder around it will require a thorough revelation of details and I don't think that those sisters really want that. And I don't blame them.)
05-06-2009 08:15 AM
bookworm
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Recurring problems with BP, GD, JB, or even BB (all but one of whom were in Dallas at one time or another) do not connect enough dots to create a uniform pattern of wanton misconduct that can be laid at the feet of every LC and every LC leader in any way.

To the extent that there are things to discover and discuss, it is time to be specific rather than general. It is time to put away the broad brush and focus.
The strong, verbose response to my quoting of scripture and attempt at followup on postings from this otherwise forgotten thread speaks volumes regarding the spiritual battle going on regarding this thread. Think about it. This thread containing actual testimonies from second-generation LC members leads to such a defensive response from a "former elder" that it causes strong condemnation by those apparently still strongly influenced by him. None of these testimonies insisted that there was a "uniform pattern of wanton misconduct that can be laid at the feet of every LC and every LC leader in any way." These testimonies were, indeed, very focused on each individual's experience. The defensive response was to accuse such testimonies of "painting with a broad brush."
05-05-2009 03:28 PM
OBW
Re: The LCS Factor

At first I felt to just let the thread be locked without any further comment from me. But as I have been one who has challenged the direction it has taken on various occasions, I decided that a review of the value of the discussion might be in order.

Disclaimer: This is my opinion. You are free to consider me presumptuous to make any of these statements.

No matter the origins of the thread, there was probably something of value to consider, but little of hard evidence to gain because virtually everything within its topic is subjective and has many potential causes — causes which might include something of LC teachings and practice. I would be willing to accept that those prone to serious parenting errors might also be influenced by undercurrents of teachings that emphasize things like "hate father, mother, sister and brother" and other such extremes being taught as more than metaphorical devices to establish a hierarchy of love and allegiance to God first. Some who might have never acted in the manner they did may have done so because of LC teachings and practices. But how do you establish the link? It would take direct questioning of the parents/individuals in question and they would have to be willing to dig into their own issues and reveal their true motivations and drivers. We were not the perpetrators, therefore we did not have the answers, only the questions. And they were good questions, but questions without available answers.

Even to get testimony of the children affected does not establish causality. They cannot know that the temperament for such ways was not already there and might or might not have be active even without the LC and its teachings. The best we could hope for was an anecdotal link between the LC and people who did not do well at raising their children or dealing with their spouses.

Yes, the specific events in which LC leadership interjected itself where it had no business going are a different kind of issue. But those do not appear to be so widespread as to be called standard operating procedure except maybe with respect to certain individual leaders. I’m sure that BillW, Jane, and BlessD, among others, would object if we even suggested that it never happened, and rightfully so. Even if the environment had turned out more nurturing for the stories that came out, would we ever have much more than the three that were brought up? Even if we got six, would that create evidence of general problems? It seems that the whole of the events actually cataloged gives testimony to the misconduct of a few somewhat linked individuals. As such, this may have been worthy of discussion for what it was. But it never was evidence of general issues with LC doctrine and practice.

Recurring problems with BP, GD, JB, or even BB (all but one of whom were in Dallas at one time or another) do not connect enough dots to create a uniform pattern of wanton misconduct that can be laid at the feet of every LC and every LC leader in any way.

To the extent that there are things to discover and discuss, it is time to be specific rather than general. It is time to put away the broad brush and focus.
05-05-2009 11:04 AM
ABrotherInChrist
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
I would invite anybody who has participated in this thread to post a final "wrap up" statement (not too long please) covering any of the major thread themes. Then I might just lock this thread and let it disappear into the archives.
I for one would welcome seeing this thread locked. If someone needs to restart part of it under another thread, so be it, but let's let this smoldering fire finally burn itself out and not add more fuel.
05-05-2009 09:51 AM
UntoHim
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by kisstheson View Post
As one who lurked for years and who was literally saved from LSM and the LC by the posts on "the other forum", I would humbly ask everyone to remember that we do live "in a fishbowl". This forum is very public and many whom we never hear from are influenced by the discussions here, one way or the other.
One of the biggest areas where I take WL and the BB's to task is in the area of evil speaking. When we start exhibiting the same kind of unrestricted speaking here, I believe it is a real shame to us.

How ironic that on a thread entitled "The Local Church System Factor" we find ourselves entangled by some of the very worst of the many negatives of this LC system. Witness Lee was a man of great exaggeration - positively towards himself and the religious system he invented, and negatively towards just about every other person, place and thing in the universe. (hows that for exaggeration) Those of us who sat under Lee's "ministry" for any length of time could not help but have been heavily influenced by this "spirit of exaggeration". It works real fine when you are on the positive side of the ledger, but when you are on the negative side, let me tell you, it's a bummer of biblical proportions.

Recently I have come to the conclusion that "once a Local Churcher - always a Local Churcher". To put this in medical terms, it's kind of like a virus that never leaves your system. The best you can do is just deal with it. So here we are folks, here we are dealing with it. The good, the bad and the ugly. Some of us, even long after departing the system, are still very prone to Lee's spirit of exaggeration. For whatever reason, some have a tendency to fight tooth and nail to keep alive the recollection and recounting of only the positive, and then there are those on the polar opposite – they have a tendency to insist that we do nothing but recount and rehash the negative. Finally there are those (probably the silent majority) caught in middle of the crossfire. I won’t even pretend to know what might be the motivations of those on either side (I know mine of course, but I’ll keep them to my little ole self for now) Of course I am framing all this in the simplest terms possible to make a point.

For over 5 years now, right here on the Internet, we have seen a kind of battle waged between the various positive and negative views of the teachings, practices and history of the Local Church of Witness Lee. Most of the time wars include a "good guy" and a "bad guy". Sometimes, as was the case with the US civil war, it really isn't so much of a good guy - bad guy thing as much as it is a good idea - bad idea thing. (in the case of the South, a really, really bad idea) It saddens me very much to see this "civil war" between current and ex LC members - what saddens me much more is the "cold war" that seems to exist between some of the ex LC members themselves. And it always seems to come down to how one views the person and work of one Mr. Witness Lee. For most Christians it is a matter of how one views, teaches and practices the various facets of the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, but no, not for us – for us it always has to boil down to the person and work of Lee and our various views, experiences and history with the religion (LC system) he invented.

Please believe me when I say that I do don't have just one forum member in mind here. There is plenty of blame to go around.

I would invite anybody who has participated in this thread to post a final "wrap up" statement (not too long please) covering any of the major thread themes. Then I might just lock this thread and let it disappear into the archives.

-

05-04-2009 03:25 PM
kisstheson
Re: The LCS Factor

Hello dear ones,

I am in much fear and trembling. Too many painful memories on this thread. Too many dear ones who never came back. :verysad:

I do not blame anybody in particular - not the author of the opening post nor anyone else who participated. I myself posted on this thread numerous times. It just happened - it brought out the worst in us, collectively.

As one who lurked for years and who was literally saved from LSM and the LC by the posts on "the other forum", I would humbly ask everyone to remember that we do live "in a fishbowl". This forum is very public and many whom we never hear from are influenced by the discussions here, one way or the other.

One of the biggest areas where I take WL and the BB's to task is in the area of evil speaking. When we start exhibiting the same kind of unrestricted speaking here, I believe it is a real shame to us.

Ultimately, the main reason why I would like this thread to never be resurrected again is because something appeared to happen here which never should have happened - we appeared to forget the fact that, when all is said and done, we are still brothers and sisters in Christ.

I love you in Christ, dear bookworm and OBW. Much grace, peace, and love to all.
05-04-2009 02:27 PM
OBW
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by bookworm View Post
You are free to take anyone to task--even Don R.--on this thread but I would say you are way out of line in labeling a thread "cursed."
First, thank you for the freedom.

I call it "cursed" because virtually everything is being misread and misunderstood. It has brought out the worst in almost everyone who has been involved. It has reopened very old wounds concerning those who claim that they are healed, but their words say otherwise. It was almost single-handedly responsible for the exit of several of the most prominent members of this forum.

And while I am not sure that it is entirely against the forum rules, calling others out to meet your challenge is poor. I admit that many of us do it when we note that a particular point has been ignored; or a participant suddenly drops out of one thread while continuing in another. But making a challenge, such a "read a book or don't say anything" is not a valid point. It is not grounds for sound discourse. And opening a long-dead thread to reissue such a challenge after months have gone by is antagonistic.

And antagonism has been the battle cry of this thread from its early posts. We dissected the accounts of non-leaders who were not present on the forum to allow their stories to be told. We sometimes used names. There was a period when the error of the day was so broad that it was pointless for identifying LC error and instead set us all upon each other.

What more do you want? Even putting the challenge in your re-opening post is more of the same. I have a hunch that you would not consider yourself to be among those who would be so antagonistic to others, and yet somehow we all have been guilty in this thread.

I just went back and read the posts by Don that John was referring back to. While the quote was accurate, Don's words appear to be stating that the account in Jane's book were situated in such a way that the implication might be drawn that this was somehow commonplace. He did not say that this was intended. But within the context of the discussions that had been happening on this forum, and specifically within this thread, there were some who seemed to be intentionally doing just that. And they were using TTOG as part of their ammo. Jane didn't do it. But it was being used in that way here.

If you think that John was merely pointing out that the book never intended to suggest that the event was commonplace, he could say that. There was no need to challenge anyone to read the book. But there were some who were trying to paint an almost entirely dark picture of significant aspects of the LC, and that all localities were essentially in the same condition. When they brought Jane's book, and BlessD's story to bear, the injustice was to both to the storytellers (Jane's book and BlessD's experience), and to the gathering of truth concerning the LC. Jane didn't say her experience was the norm. John set out to establish that again. But the context in which it was introduced in this thread was to say that this evil was going on everywhere and how could anyone, especially an elder even suggest that it was not widespread and commonplace.

Then Don stated rather clearly that he had personally seen none of any such "meetings" although he did note that there were talks/rumors about it happening in some places. The only thing that I could see him saying was that it was not so commonplace that every elder in the region who had been in such a position for many years must have seen such a thing. That would suggest that there is something quite uneven in the administration of the LCs. That is a significant point. But it was to be ignored and we needed to simply “paint it black.”

As to any other opinions that might have been expressed about TTOG by Don or anyone else, I can only say that everyone is entitled to their opinions on any subject, even if I do not agree.

I would much rather that Jane, Nell, John, Matt and many others (some of whom had only joined to get caught up in this thread and then left, never to return again) were again regular and active in the discussions of the LC and its personalities. But arguing opinions about what impression something in a book gives to someone sounds more like a need to have everyone agree. And casting a net of "idolatry" so wide that no one escapes loses the distinction that is worthy of note. (We are out to find that some say "I am of Lee" and not that some like to sleep late on Sunday morning and often miss church as a result.)

If you think Don said something with which you disagree, ask what he meant. This forum has become much too sterile. There is even a slowness to simply discuss the doctrines. The experiences are not out of bounds. But they need cool heads. That does not mean no passion. It just means to leave the uzzis at home.

This thread is Mt. St. Helens. It has already blown 1,000 ft off its top in the form of forum members. The latest lava dome is not the place to build a hotel for tourists to come see our collective folly. Let it die. Let it become archived back on the umpteenth page behind better discussions. Even better discussions on the same topics. Everytime we pick it up and post in it, we bring the dirtiest of our laundry to the top and shout for every newcomer to see the ugliness that went on.

This is my plea for sanity and is based entirely on my opinion. I do believe that opinion to have a sound base in fact. But I ask that rather than dismiss it as just “that guy's opinion,” you take a look at the totality of the landscape of this thread. We joyously started looking for the evidence of the LC in the things that sent the second generation running for the doors, sometimes to reject God and get into the worst that life can provide. But it quickly turned to shouts that one piece of evidence was all that was needed and anything that contradicted in any way was to be expunged at all costs. How quickly? Within 4 days of the first post this line was published: “I don't think one example ... mitigates the application of a broad brush” It went downhill from there. The broad brush was out. The witch hunt had begun. The result was nuclear. There is a hole in the forum. Why may be an opinion, but the hole is very real.
05-04-2009 09:57 AM
bookworm
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Now I have taken Don to task, both publicly and privately, concerning the appearance of disagreeing with another’s account (or “story”) because it is different from his own. My conclusion is that while there may have been a little of this in play, he was more concerned with the idea that some other account was being used to paint everything when he had an experience that did not match. Maybe his manner in taking exception was not the best at the time, but he was correct. If it was all as black as some were trying to say, why did any of us stay for even a few meetings? How could this kind of gross behavior be hidden from the new ones? The answer is because it was not the whole of the church or even of the people that we are dissecting.

Last, I note that this particular thread has, almost from its inception, been one of “calling others out” to answer for their sins. Even the one time that someone came along to try to bring some harmony to the thread by resurrecting it and apologizing for his part in the problem(s), it seems that it could not be allowed to happen and another hornet’s nest was stirred up to begin another lynching. It may have been entirely a happenstance ─I’m not saying it was intentional. But this thread seems cursed. It only seems to bring out the worst in so many of us.
OBW,

If one reads John Anderson's posts #1303 and 1304 on this thread it is apparent that he is appealing to Don to read for himself Jane Anderson's account so that he can see for himself that it does not paint it all "as black as some are trying to say." Don's reading The Thread of Gold would defuse much of the defensive attitude that he displays and that fosters the ideas that "lynching" as you say, is taking place on this thread.

You are free to take anyone to task--even Don R.--on this thread but I would say you are way out of line in labeling a thread "cursed."
05-04-2009 09:21 AM
OBW
Re: The LCS Factor

I note that the kind of thought expressed in John's post keeps coming up. The problem is not what the book says or what Don may have said about it. The problem is the emphasis that this very thread put on everything. It reeks of the presumption that everything in all places was the same. It also presumes that all leaders in all places lead with the same king of uneven and even schizophrenic morphing between shepherd and ogre. There is a record of some who did operate in this manner. Jane’s book gives a little window into a few such persons.

But no matter how I tell my story, or you tell your story, it can only be the story of the one doing the telling. That does not preclude others from piecing the different accounts together to draw pictures that are somewhat different from what any of the separate accounts portray. I have been challenging Don in another context ─ not to refrain from having a viewpoint, but to understand that as factual as his account is, it is not the whole story, just his story. His accounts of the various personalities during the 60s, including that of Lee, paint a picture that, taken alone, would leave one wondering how things turned out like they did. But what Don cannot have known and possibly even suspected is that in some cases there was something at work inside these people that had not yet come out. Or there were forces at work from the outside that would cause changes in some that would have different results.

But none of these changes what he actually saw at the time. He might, in hindsight, consider that there were signs that he missed at the time. But if he tells the story from the perspective of that period in time, the sign was missed and to act as if it was not miss-tells the story.

So to suggest that Don needs someone else’s perspective to tell his story is to not be willing to take the facts that are but instead ask for the facts you want. If you have alternate facts, then provide them. Without both we cannot get the whole picture. Neither denies the other, but enhances the search for truth. To pretend to have all the facts when you only have part of them is dishonest. Not necessarily in a willful way, but nonetheless dishonest.

When I have questioned Don about his accounts, it has not been to suggest that he is telling us an incorrect history, but to ask whether in analyzing the person of Lee (or any other of the early players in this story) he is swayed too much by his own observations to the exclusion of those of others. If all are placed side-by-side, I question whether his account could be the whole story. Same goes for the other accounts.

The objective of this forum is not to create an entirely black picture of Nee, Lee, Benson, Ray, or any of the others. It is to come to some understanding of the truth as it relates to the history and continued existence of the LC. But we need Don’s story, and Jane’s, along with those of Steve I., SpeakersCorner, Ohio, Paul C., and so many others. We need the writings of the Concerned Brothers and even the DCP. I would never call Jane’s accounts isolated. But if it had been too prominent, Benson would have had a hard time rising to his current status among the BBs. Even Benson’s dream of leading a religious organization cannot be viewed as, in itself, entirely evil. Many are given some kind of vision of some aspect of their destiny. Others dream big and expect to find a way to achieve it. We cannot presume that having this “dream” means either, or something else. It is just one fact in a maze of facts that in isolation make the object a “Saint” in one case and Satan himself in another. Surely the second precludes the first from being the whole story, but neither is the latter the whole story.

Now I have taken Don to task, both publicly and privately, concerning the appearance of disagreeing with another’s account (or “story”) because it is different from his own. My conclusion is that while there may have been a little of this in play, he was more concerned with the idea that some other account was being used to paint everything when he had an experience that did not match. Maybe his manner in taking exception was not the best at the time, but he was correct. If it was all as black as some were trying to say, why did any of us stay for even a few meetings? How could this kind of gross behavior be hidden from the new ones? The answer is because it was not the whole of the church or even of the people that we are dissecting.

Last, I note that this particular thread has, almost from its inception, been one of “calling others out” to answer for their sins. Even the one time that someone came along to try to bring some harmony to the thread by resurrecting it and apologizing for his part in the problem(s), it seems that it could not be allowed to happen and another hornet’s nest was stirred up to begin another lynching. It may have been entirely a happenstance ─I’m not saying it was intentional. But this thread seems cursed. It only seems to bring out the worst in so many of us.

Bookworm. Your own comments are good. But the quote from older posts was to resurrect one of those "challenges."

Let it die and be buried. If there is something that is truly worthy of discussion, start a new thread. And I’m not sure that demanding that someone read anything is a good starting point. We might as well require everyone who wants to say anything about Lee to read every book he ever wrote (or spoke and had edited down into a book and/or repackaged into several books) before they are qualified to comment.
05-03-2009 09:42 PM
bookworm
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
In this post, I will address what you have written about our book, The Thread of Gold: God’s Purpose, the Cross, and Me.

Don, I would like to send you a complimentary copy of the book. Please send your mailing address to TheThreadOfGold@verizon.net, and we will put one in the mail to you. We offer the book for sale on our website, www.TheThreadofGold.com, to make it widely available; however, Jane has given away hundreds of free copies, so you would not be taking advantage in any way. The book is meant to be a service to the Lord and His body, not a money-making venture (which it is not). Her intent from the beginning was always to give it to those who could benefit from it.

Why not read a book by an ordinary person who was in the Local Church? You might even receive a blessing, as many have testified that they did, including a current and former Local Church elders. To me, based on all that has taken place on this thread, you may have some prejudice against Jane which has caused you to make assumptions about our book. At least take the time, if you have not, to read the book’s website. (From what you have written, it appears that you have not.) It has a “Feedback” tab that accesses many testimonies about the book. Some wrote that the book had no bitterness in it at all, and one of those people was in the Local Church. (By the way, Jane is no longer putting new feedback from readers on the book’s website.)

Don, in the interest of your credibility, I would think that you would want to read her book if for no other reason than to be well-informed on the subject about which you purport to write authoritatively. How can you consider to be writing a balanced history of the Local Church when you ignore a book that presents a perspective you do not have? As far as I know, there are only two ink-on-paper books that give testimonies from ones about their experiences while in the Local Church of Witness Lee: Speaking the Truth in Love and The Thread of Gold. Of course, you know John Ingalls; why not really get to know Jane as she presents her experiences of Jesus?

In addition to describing events that are more historical in nature, Jane also presents in the last three chapters how she was freed from the deceptive teachings of the Local Church. This part is written in an outline fashion and, in my opinion, is almost “worth its weight in gold.” I would consider this to be very worthwhile for any who were immersed, as we were, in the teachings of Witness Lee. For me, there are many golden nuggets in The Thread of Gold.

Don, in what I have written to you, I do not want to sound mean-spirited; I do, however, want to remain firm and truthful. If you have corrective facts about the events described in The Thread of Gold, we will be happy to receive them. If you have corrective facts related to the testimonies on this thread, we are ready to hear them as well. I hope that there will be no more speculation about our book or our motives until you have read it from cover to cover.

Your brother,
John Anderson

It has been several months since active posting on this thread, The LCS Factor, in the discussion of spiritual abuse including neglect of family relationships. I am curious; tell us John, during this time have you heard from Don (Hope) regarding your plea for him actually to read The Thread of Gold? Has he taken you up on your offer to send him a copy of the book?

Recently in the congregation we now meet with we have begun a Biblical study of developing and maintaining healthy relationships. Today some verses from the book of Nehemiah were quoted in the context of sharing healthy ways to nurture and care for family relationships.

Now, keep in mind that my knowledge of the book of Nehemiah was primarily gained in the Local Church. I remember several experiences in the Local Church of sharing of verses from the book of Nehemiah regarding "the building."
The examples many of us remember surely are:

Nehemiah 1: 9 "But if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name."
Nehemiah 4:18 "and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked."
And 4:20 "Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us to fight there. Our God will fight for us!"

Imagine my surprise and delight when these verses (also from chapter 4) were shared in our worship service today:
Nehemiah 4:13-14: "Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears, and bows. After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people, 'Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord who is great and awesome and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.' "

Note the emphasis and value placed on fighting the battle for your children and wives and your own home.

What a blessing to feed on these verses and realize how valuable family units are to the Lord and what a responsibility we have to fight for them.
02-08-2009 03:45 PM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

Best wishes to you and your husband blessD!
02-08-2009 01:52 PM
blessD
Re: The LCS Factor

My husband has considerately requested for me to stop participating in this forum. My history with the LC is not shared together so he feels left out and also believes it is the past so should remain in the past. I understand and respect his viewpoint. I have many other priorities that need my time. After all, God is doing a present work in our lives that does not include my history in the LC.

I would like to say thanks to members for sharing your stories and viewpoints. I have enjoyed reading and participating (even through the experience of being questioned and accused). Keep the faith! Everything will work out, just keep on believing. I know God is working here and He will get the glory.

I would ask one thing, please do not discuss my personal story if it is only to make your own point or win an argument. This was not my purpose in sharing. I respectfully request my history not be misused or further questioned since I will not be present to clarify or defend myself from accusation. I have shared some details in private messages to help answer questions of accuracy. I shared in confidence and have come to find some of these personal details were later distributed between others in private messages. This was quite disheartening and clearly unethical.

You may email me at laweaver_okc@yahoo.com if you have anything you want to discuss privately.

Peace to all,

BlessD
02-07-2009 12:03 PM
Terry
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post

Here is one of the things that I find interesting about chapter one: The leading elder in Houston was not present at that kangaroo court.
I was not aware of this. That was amazing and apalling. Amazing in the fact that a leading elders responsibility for a locality was usurped. For this brother to not know about it indicates a neglect in fellowship. Whether it's a brother or sister to be blindsided in such a manner is sorrowful.
Having read the Thread of Gold I wondered what would have happened had John and Jane not attended that meeting?
What if you're a current brother or sister whose presence is needed in a similar meeting, would the responsible brothers be just as willing to meet if the venue was in a restaurant or coffee shop instead of a room at a meeting hall?

Terry
02-07-2009 11:40 AM
Terry
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overflow View Post
And for those that need proof to believe that the LC indeed messed with families,
Overflow, it cuts both ways. There are times individual(s) sought to impose the mindset on a family. There are instances where the parent(s) rebuked the individual and there are instances where the parent(s) relented to peer pressure for the sake of one accord.

Terry
02-07-2009 11:07 AM
John
Re: The LCS Factor

In this post, I will address what you have written about our book, The Thread of Gold: God’s Purpose, the Cross, and Me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
…. Jane Anderson wrote a book about the local church. The book began with an account of a humiliating experience she suffered. The date was 1977. I believe she and her husband had been associated with the local churches since at least 1968. I have found it more than interesting that she starts the story with this event. Any reader would have to assume this was more than an isolated event.
Don, I do not believe that any reader would have to assume that chapter one described more than an isolated event. Surely you don’t believe that you can read everyone’s mind. Hopefully, many readers would find chapter one interesting enough to read the rest of the book and find out more about the person and the event. I would recommend that you do so rather than engage in useless speculation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
Later another humiliating experience is recounted which was suffered by a teenage girl. It has many similarities to her experience.

I can only speak from my experience. From 1965-1986, I cannot recall being in such a called gathering. I knew nothing of the one that occurred in Houston. I heard of some people in some places being called down publicly but never of a called meeting for the purpose of humiliating an individual or group of individuals. Yes, during Max Rapoport's time there were called elders gatherings for this purpose. Yes, there were such meetings after 1986. They were called and directed at specific leading brothers, but not at individual brothers or sisters or teenagers. When I complete my history, I will detail some of these. But I hope to first set a clear stage that this was not the way it always was and it was the great exception to the day to day church life….

…. How accurate are the accounts? I cannot say since I was not there in either case nor did I ever hear of the events until the forums. But I can say this kind of event was not what was going on! What about the 8-9 years before this infamous meeting?

…. The forum should not be a place where any may take a free shot and vent….
Don, your leaps of assumption are amazing to me. Regarding the meeting about Jane, if you knew nothing of the meeting, how can you claim to know the purpose of those who called the meeting?

I note that your question, “How accurate are the accounts?” includes questioning the accuracy of the opening account in our book. Let me assure you, it is as accurate as we could make it. How do I know? I was there and am a witness; you were not and are not.

The Thread of Gold is Jane’s personal testimony. It is her story of her life with Jesus. The backdrop is the Local Church. In chapter one, she told what happened to her. Don, why do apparently try to cast doubt on her account? Would you respect her testimony more if she could bring forward a Local Church leader to corroborate it?

You commented that you found Jane’s placement of the account in chapter one “more than interesting,” leaving the reader to wonder why you found it so. Then you say, “Later another humiliating experience is recounted which was suffered by a teenage girl. It has many similarities to her experience.” Are you implying that such accounts were the focal point of our book? Are you implying that she had some negative vendetta or had the need to “vent”? Don, please do not conjecture and write about the book before reading it. This is simply an expected common courtesy.

Since you have questioned the placement of chapter one, let me tell you why it is at the beginning. The book was originally written telling the events in her life sequentially. One of our reviewers suggested that this particular event, which was a turning point in Jane’s life, should be put at the beginning, as a matter of writing style. It was that simple and is a common way of presenting historical accounts.

Here is one of the things that I find interesting about chapter one: The leading elder in Houston was not present at that kangaroo court. It seems he was absent, just like you were from blessD’s and juliep’s inquisitions. Years later, he told us that he, too, like you, knew nothing about the meeting. My point is that I don’t believe anyone should assert that only their perspective and assessment of what happened in the Local Churches is the proper and authoritative one.

You write as if Jane failed to mention the eight or nine years prior to the 1977 event. If you had read our book, you would know that she covered these years in some detail. Please do not follow the example of a person on the Berean’s forum. He gave his opinions about the book and about Jane’s motivation for writing it. He later admitted that he hadn’t read the book!


A Plea for You to Read the Book

Here is a little history about our book (some of which is related on the book’s website). First of all, Jane did not want to publish anything but was encouraged to do so by others. She eventually became convinced, over a period of time, and by some providential occurrences, that the Lord did indeed want her to publish her testimony. She began reworking journals and notes that she had made over the years, but she lacked an editor. God provided one through a timely layoff, which is how I came to be on the project, being an editor and writer by profession. At that time, I felt that the Lord wanted me to dedicate my full time to the book, which turned out to be a period of nine months. Items in the book were researched and verified. The book went through a number of reviews by people who knew of the events as well as people who did not, people who were in the Local Church and people who were not. In fact, one of our reviewers was a non-Christian who later accepted Jesus. As the writer of our “Foreword” wrote, “This story is for everyone,” and I think that many would agree. In fact, if people are only looking for bad things about the Local Church, they may be disappointed. If, however, they are looking to know more about Jesus, I think that they will be thankful they read it. (As an aside, I could not in good conscience agree with the title of the book being The Thread of Gold if its main theme was simply to present the dark side of some church.)

Don, I would like to send you a complimentary copy of the book. Please send your mailing address to TheThreadOfGold@verizon.net, and we will put one in the mail to you. We offer the book for sale on our website, www.TheThreadofGold.com, to make it widely available; however, Jane has given away hundreds of free copies, so you would not be taking advantage in any way. The book is meant to be a service to the Lord and His body, not a money-making venture (which it is not). Her intent from the beginning was always to give it to those who could benefit from it.

Why not read a book by an ordinary person who was in the Local Church? You might even receive a blessing, as many have testified that they did, including a current and former Local Church elders. To me, based on all that has taken place on this thread, you may have some prejudice against Jane which has caused you to make assumptions about our book. At least take the time, if you have not, to read the book’s website. (From what you have written, it appears that you have not.) It has a “Feedback” tab that accesses many testimonies about the book. Some wrote that the book had no bitterness in it at all, and one of those people was in the Local Church. (By the way, Jane is no longer putting new feedback from readers on the book’s website.)

Don, in the interest of your credibility, I would think that you would want to read her book if for no other reason than to be well-informed on the subject about which you purport to write authoritatively. How can you consider to be writing a balanced history of the Local Church when you ignore a book that presents a perspective you do not have? As far as I know, there are only two ink-on-paper books that give testimonies from ones about their experiences while in the Local Church of Witness Lee: Speaking the Truth in Love and The Thread of Gold. Of course, you know John Ingalls; why not really get to know Jane as she presents her experiences of Jesus?

In addition to describing events that are more historical in nature, Jane also presents in the last three chapters how she was freed from the deceptive teachings of the Local Church. This part is written in an outline fashion and, in my opinion, is almost “worth its weight in gold.” I would consider this to be very worthwhile for any who were immersed, as we were, in the teachings of Witness Lee. For me, there are many golden nuggets in The Thread of Gold.

Don, in what I have written to you, I do not want to sound mean-spirited; I do, however, want to remain firm and truthful. If you have corrective facts about the events described in The Thread of Gold, we will be happy to receive them. If you have corrective facts related to the testimonies on this thread, we are ready to hear them as well. I hope that there will be no more speculation about our book or our motives until you have read it from cover to cover.

Your brother,
John Anderson
02-07-2009 10:32 AM
John
Re: The LCS Factor

Dear Don,

First of all, I must address with you the most personal matter to me—the way you have written about my wife.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
Texas is a large area and had and still does have many different local churches with hundreds of many different brothers and sisters. I know personally the posters here who came from Texas. None of them was just your average bear. Jane Anderson is a very unique personality and one of the most intense persons I ever knew. She was not then and is not now just the average sister you might run into. Matt, Mike, Nell are all very strong personalities (a good thing). Jane and Nell were in Houston and OK City. Ray Graver and James Barber had a thing about subduing strong personalities. No doubt they were among their targets. I would suppose they received more than their fair share of abuse.
You write as if you knew Jane personally in the past. You write that she was not “your average bear,” “a very unique personality," and “one of the most intense persons” you ever knew. With regard to the past, I believe that you did not know my wife well enough to make such statements.

I asked Jane how she felt about your statements, and she said that they bothered her. She remembers being around you a few times during the first year or two in the Church in Houston, but she does not remember speaking much when she was around you and other “spiritual” brothers because you were scary to her. I am not saying that you never spent any time around her or never spoke with her. What I’m saying is that I believe that you have overstepped your boundaries in characterizing her past personality. Therefore, please refrain from commenting about my wife’s personality.

In the Local Church, for the most part, I would say that we really didn’t know anyone personally since we were not allowed to have any friends in the Church. Add to that the divide between the brothers and the sisters, and between the leaders (which she considered you to be) and the non-leaders, and she does not feel like you knew her or vice versa. As regards most of the others you mentioned, I believe that, in the past, you knew Nell even less and Matt less still. By the way, Nell was not targeted by Ray or James, as you suggested. She was called on the carpet by other leaders in the region, but that is for her to share.

That being said, even if you do know some posters personally, I do not think that it is wise to write an assessment of any poster’s personality here, regardless how minor the assessment might be. If you find it necessary to think about the personalities of the ones you have mentioned, I suggest you distinguish for yourself between the distant past and the present.

Further, do not take what you know about Ray and James and assume you know something about what happened to Jane. If you want to know the truth, why not just read her book, The Thread of Gold? Then you will have more accurate knowledge about her, what she was like, whether or not it was her personality that brought about her trouble, and how she became the person she is today.

Your brother,
John Anderson
02-07-2009 10:20 AM
John
Re: The LCS Factor

Dear Don,

A few weeks ago, I came back to the forum to read and was surprised to find that you were referring to my wife and our book. After that, I began praying and considering how to respond. I decided I should address these matters with you publicly where they occurred, so as to clear the air as regards my wife and me on this forum.

In spite of the fact that you appear to have signed off, I feel that I should still post the things I have taken much time to write. I do this for the record because I do not think some of the things you have written about us should be left unaddressed on this public forum.

I have prepared a few initial posts which I will present now. Also, because I have continued to follow what has been happening on this thread, I have written about a few related matters. These are in various stages of writing, editing, and prayer that I may or may not present. I hope that you will give what I write your attention and prayerful consideration.

Your brother,
John Anderson
02-07-2009 09:42 AM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

YPO534 I think you are missing the point. As a man with a wife and daughter I understand the feelings of this husband. I understand his natural reaction. I understand his manhood. Does this mean I would condone it if he carried out the act? Of course not!
02-07-2009 09:04 AM
YP0534
Murder and Sainthood

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overflow View Post
The story shows that the heart of that man (who wasn't a Spirtual giant in the eyes of LC) responding with sensitivity to the huge call of being a Godly husband, willing to protect his wife at any cost, laying down his life for his wife

Completely unbelivable.

"laying down his life"???

You've gotta be kidding me.

Pardon me, but those of us who have to live where real life happens, where real guns kill real people, have very little patience for such naive and romantic fantasies as have now been displayed here.

Very revealing.

Utterly clueless is the main word that comes to mind...
02-07-2009 06:28 AM
Overflow
Re: The LCS Factor

I think DJohnson's example was intended to be a metaphorical example! The story shows that the heart of that man (who wasn't a Spirtual giant in the eyes of LC) responding with sensitivity to the huge call of being a Godly husband, willing to protect his wife at any cost, laying down his life for his wife...he didn't shoot the guy, it just shows the rage that stirred in him when his wife was being abused. A different story for a men that seemed Ultra Spiritual and yet, abused or allowed other women to be abused without any protest or move of emotion. The latter is so far from God I can't even go there.

Thanks to those that recognize the pain of being abused, and even more so by someone who has spent a lifetime building an image as God's extra special chosen one! It is a high calling to be a christian parent....showing your children the heart of God through your own love and actions!

And for those that need proof to believe that the LC indeed messed with families, just google more info about the LC....there are lots of accounts similar to the one that JDavidson shared. It was/is rampant.
02-07-2009 01:27 AM
YP0534
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
YPO534 I have a wife and daughter so I understand the man's reaction when his wife was violated.
Yes, I have a wife too. It's a fairly common thing. So too are reactions to events of the world as you have suggested is a good idea. But we don't "go for a gun" in civilized society. If there was a wrong of the type you say was reported by Mr. Ingalls, clearly the appropriate response is either police involvement or a lawsuit, not firearms like a gangbanger hoodlum. This is not the Wild West or the Old South where one must resort to vigilantism to defend "honor" nor is it a Hollywood movie where such actions have no real consequences. At a MINIMUM, "going for a gun" in such circumstances is the mark of an irresponsible gun owner. It gives us supporters of 2nd Amendment rights a really bad name. Not to mention what it can do to one's Christian reputation.

You can keep going with your attack on the eldership in Anaheim which "let it come to this" or whatever. I care not. It's probably deserved on some level it seems to me.

What I'm calling attention to is your seeming inability to appreciate that siding up with a would-be murderer puts you in most peculiar company and you are fully comfortable with that because to your judgment someone else was worse. It's not just that the gun-slinger is a symptom of the problem for you. You actually admire the guy. And that's just twisted and bizarre to me for a believer to publicly espouse in this day and age. Both unchristian and unenlightened wasn't something I was expecting from a keyboard here, really...
02-06-2009 11:27 PM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

Terry the elders of the church encouraged people to serve in LSM knowing full well what the track record was. Furthermore apparently at the time there was a "move of the Lord" for the oneness between the church and LSM to increase even more. With the elders publicly promoting this so called "move". Shortly thereafter the incident I am discussing occurred. Here is what Mr. Ingalls writes in his book about it:

"The grievous conduct reported by the sister from the LSM office had a precedent that we were well aware of."
02-06-2009 08:03 PM
Terry
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
The ones in Anaheim. They knew the track record of the misconduct that was going on at the LSM and yet they did nothing to discourage innocents and especially women from serving there and in fact encouraged it.
djohnson, I don't know much about the words you're speaking. However my impression is the LSM office on Ball Road was considered a separate entity from the Church in Anaheim even if the localities' meetings took place in the very LSM building.

Terry
02-06-2009 06:08 PM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

The ones in Anaheim. They knew the track record of the misconduct that was going on at the LSM and yet they did nothing to discourage innocents and especially women from serving there and in fact encouraged it. At the time of the event I have been discussing one elder was on the board of the LSM and the other was the GM. The impetus for them to take any action was a husband in their church seeking to defend the honor of his wife. What could they do once the whole thing became publicized? Finally they had to stop brown nosing Witness Lee and do something substantial. And after the blow up the man who was the GM said something to the effect: The situation at LSM was actually worse than what most people know.
02-06-2009 05:18 PM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
YPO534 I have a wife and daughter so I understand the man's reaction when his wife was violated. What I don't understand is how elders could knowingly cover up Witness Lee and the antics going on at LSM for so long until such a breaking point was reached.

dj, who are these elders who knowingly covered up?
02-06-2009 04:08 PM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

YPO534 I have a wife and daughter so I understand the man's reaction when his wife was violated. What I don't understand is how elders could knowingly cover up Witness Lee and the antics going on at LSM for so long until such a breaking point was reached.
02-06-2009 03:36 PM
YP0534
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
as I recall I read about the incident in a book by Mr. Ingalls
I don't know where it came from, which was half of my point. "Read about the incident in a book" isn't quite the same as "heard" but thanks for the additional information upon which to help evaluate credibility of the claim. I guess if you think Mr. Ingalls is an honest man, then you can accept that. I don't really know Mr. Ingalls. I suppose it's a true story.

The other half of my point?

If Ingalls was the one who lionized an attempted murderer in a book about snakes and mice, ditto. Someone just a little while ago was instructing about how two wrongs don't make a right.

Anything that can earn you prison time is not behavior I'd care to uphold as a paragon.

I'll stand by that.
02-06-2009 01:42 PM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

YPO534 as I recall I read about the incident in a book by Mr. Ingalls. Sad that it came to what it came to before the leaders of the church got up enough backbone to actually do something instead of brown nosing Witness Lee.
02-06-2009 01:04 PM
YP0534
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
I heard that one husband was so upset about what happened to his wife in the LSM office that he went for his gun.
I guess I'd be over the line to suggest that it's probably not a good idea to repeat hearsay about a brother with murderous intent.

Probably would better to lionize a would-be killer as a hero among snakes and mice.

Yeah.

Nevermind.
02-06-2009 12:38 PM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

OBW please read my post #1286 where I quote Hope. His position on this issue is clear. I am not accusing him of anything. But some ladies here are accusing some elders of something and Hope is essentially vouching for these elders that it never happened thus discrediting the narrative of the ladies involved.
02-06-2009 12:21 PM
OBW
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
Regarding Hope I am assessing his actions in this particular situation at this particular time: how is he responding to these claims of abuse? That's all.
Are you accusing him personally of abuse? Or are you merely lumping him in with all LC elders, some of which were abusers? There is no actual evidence of abuse on his part in any way on record here of which I am aware.

If you are talking about the abuse on the part of others, he has not denied that it happened. But when you force issues, you will discover that the results are not what you want. And as long as you want everyone to simply say affirmatively that everything happened exactly as claimed, that is not possible, even if it is, in fact, completely true to the finest detail. Only those present can say with certainty that it happened. The rest of us can only say that others have said that it happened and that we have no reason to disbelieve them.

But whether or not advisable, questions were raised. It is entirely OK to simply drop the questions. But attacking the questioner rather than dealing with the questions is not a righteous approach. Everyone presumed that the questions were designed to discredit the accounts. But actually, the questions were because knowledge of the venue suggested that either the details were not quite as mentioned, or something about the description seemed to say something that it did not. I had the same questions. Clearing that up would strengthen my ability to simply say “I believe it without questions” instead of saying “I believe the substance of it although some of the details seem unlikely.” In the latter case, some might presume a cloud over the whole account. I do not. But if I had been asked about it, that is what I would have had to say.

And I would not have been making any kind of statement about the veracity of the ones bringing the claims ─ only in the clarity of the fine, and possibly irrelevant details after these many years.
02-06-2009 11:46 AM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

Overflow I really feel bad for the ladies in the LCS and those who left it and have to deal with the aftermath. I heard that one husband was so upset about what happened to his wife in the LSM office that he went for his gun. The elders had to calm him down but come to find out the elders basically knew what was going on towards women in the LSM office already. They covered it up for Witness Lee for years and let the women of their church go unprotected to serve in that office. The husband not the elders had the manhood to stand up to Lee for the sake of the honor of his wife once he found out what was going on.
02-06-2009 11:25 AM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

Ohio what Hope did was state the following:

"The big 16 elder meeting over two teenagers kissing just could not have occurred in the way it was described. I would have known about it. Nothing comparable ever occurred. The second, an effort to back up the first, of 6-7 elders confronting a teenager did not happen."

He is not saying it could have happened and he was just not aware of it. That is not his position. This is not only a discrediting of their story it is in essence saying these ladies are lying.
02-06-2009 11:10 AM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overflow View Post
It makes me vomit to hear the guys beg and plea for Don to write a chapter in a book (that will inevitably be slanted) and yet two ladies recount of abuse is over and over again dismissed and belittled! BlessD, I completely believe your story and I am so sorry for the disrespect of women that we were raised with and continue to see on this forum. When I wrote my response to Don, I regret being naive and believing that he could switch from an Angry Mean Spirited Man to Mr. Calm and Collect in 2.2 seconds.

Overflow
, your story is indeed painful to read, and I am in no way diminishing what sad events have transpired in your family. I also have some nasty memories to tell growing up in a large family in the Catholic church. That church never helped my Dad either, but we are all responsible for our own actions, and parents most of all. When some of my siblings retell some of the "horror stories," the responsibility stops with the family, and no one ever blamed the church.

No one has "dismissed and belittled" your accounts. I saw that happen on the Bereans forum, but not here. DonR happened to be nearby and said he didn't see it happen. So he asked for clarifications. I would have done the same. I don't like getting blamed for other's actions, and I'm sure you don't either. Abusive people like to act in secret, and that's why many of those even closeby don't know what has happened. That's life. I don't like it, but it happens. It happened far too often in the LC.

The above two paragraphs are to me disrespectful to DonR, beyond what is fair. Regardless of how hurt you were, it does not help you to lash out at other posters, men in general, or specifically Don. None of us did anything to hurt you. It was your father who did what he did, and he bears full responsibility, along with the one who appointed him to the eldership. If I don't appear as sympathetic as you would like in this post, that does not mean I "disrespect of women that we were raised with and continue to see on this forum." What it means is this -- I protest the way you were mistreated, and I also disagree with the way you are responding now.

Statements like this to DonR -- "Angry Mean Spirited Man to Mr. Calm and Collect in 2.2 seconds" -- is unfair, just like the abuse you have suffered. One wrong does not correct another wrong. The difference is that you suffered as a helpless child, which is quite unfortunate indeed. Now you are lashing out at people on this forum who have never hurt you. The Lord is very sympathetic to the hurting. Many other posters are sypathetic too, including DonR. Please do not think we are in any way discrediting you or your story. It's a story that is yours to tell.

Here's just one area where the LCS failed miserably. Many elders were appointed by reason of their allegiances. That's pitiful. The Biblical prescription is appointments based on character, including how one manages his own household. Paul wrote that for a reason. The LC thought they had invented a better way, and now we find out, via stories like yours, how bad their way really was.
02-06-2009 10:43 AM
kisstheson
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overflow View Post
I think its rather egotistical to say you were above the painful practices of this male chauvinist group/cult.

Oops...did I step out of all the guys comfort zone!??!
Hello dear Overflow,

Aiee! O my fragile male ego!

The story about your family is very troubling. I can not even state how sorry I was to read about the psychological abuse of your older sister.

Just for the record, if dear brother Don does finish his book, I plan on printing it out and putting it in a binder on my bookshelf - right next to dear sister Jane Anderson's book The Thread of Gold. I really believe that the more testimonies that come forth regarding the LC, the better. Female and male viewpoints are needed, as well as those of both "leading ones" and "common saints".

I will readily admit that I was really touched many times reading The Thread of Gold. Dear sister Jane and her husband sent me several very encouraging messages when I first announced that my family and I were going through the turmoil of leaving the LC several years ago.

Now that I have begun to read the writings of so many other precious ministers of Christ, I have learned that the neglect of families for the sake of "the church life" is one area where WL/LSM/LC deviated terribly from the Scriptures and from the writings and practices of so many others. Everywhere else I find a much healthier balance between family and "church life". For example, Stephen Kaung, that "other co-worker of Watchman Nee" who settled in the U.S. before WL, has a wonderful book entitled God's Purpose for the Family. Most recently, I have been reading through the "Classic Portraits" series by F.B. Meyer. Dear brother Meyer's speaking is full of exhortations and practical fellowship regarding healthy families.
02-06-2009 09:46 AM
YP0534
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overflow View Post
I think its rather egotistical to say you were above the painful practices of this male chauvinist group/cult.

Oops...did I step out of all the guys comfort zone!??!
Ha!

Not at all.

The patriarchal arrangement of the Local Church and most of Christianity in general is a topic that should definitely be explored. The "So, What About Woman?" threads are still here, I think. Try this one:
Quote:
Originally Posted by YP0534 View Post
Women weren't even permitted speak on such topics for most of the last 2000 + years!
How can they be "silent in the church" and simultaneously the leaders of the heresies??? :rollingeyes2:
On a personal note, I was disciplined back when for treating the sisters like brothers by fellowshipping with them (in groups of 3 or more, not alone!) out of the presence of the "responsible ones" aka "brothers." Primarily, those conversations related to what I observed the Local Church doing with their own children and the Lord's stern warning about a millstone. I was more of a sounding board for their concerns than anything else, but that's another tale and it isn't really mine to tell.
02-06-2009 09:35 AM
Paul Cox
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overflow View Post

Oops...did I step out of all the guys comfort zone!??!
Overflow,

I hope you don't think I am one of your enemies because I am a man. I love women (although I loathe "femenism") and I believe in equal everything for women. Let's not make this carry the tone of "all men are dopes."

I can't speak for others, but I was not begging Don to do anything, so I hope you can hold on to your breakfast. Everybody comes from the Local Church with a different perspective. I don't think Don has to show proof of counseling, or any such thing in order to just record his account of having been there. I've already learned a lot I didn't previously know about the system from reading his first two chapters. What he needs to do so far as his former membership as an elder in the Local Church, I will leave that to be between the Lord and him.

I can believe that a brother like Don could have gone through the system partially without having been totally distorted to the extent that some of the Texas Brothers were. Let's give honor where honor is due, and not paint everybody with a broad stroke.

Roger
02-06-2009 09:15 AM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

OBW you referred to me as an outsider who drops in once in a while to make inflammatory remarks just to cause fighting. That is what I was responding to. I would add that it seems to me in general the LCS, the former LCS and this forum itself doesn't need an outsider to inflame anything because it's already inflamed. E.g. Several people left this thread and this forum. I wasn't even involved when they left i.e. there was "fighting" going on back and forth on this thread and I wasn't even here.

Apparently there is a reason why this thread is a hot topic. I inadvertently hit a nerve when I started the thread. So be it. Recently we have be able to witness in real time how people with stories of abuse are treated.

Regarding Hope I am assessing his actions in this particular situation at this particular time: how is he responding to these claims of abuse? That's all.
02-06-2009 08:57 AM
Overflow
Re: The LCS Factor

There was also physical abuse...arguably perhaps easier to heal from then the emotional damage of destroying the very being of a person.

Also know of accounts of incest and molestation within the LC that I am very aware of, perhaps someday I'll go there.

To say that this did happen but not throughout, I DEFINITELY disagree. I do assume that it was worst when your dad was trained as an elder in this group, but every family I know of had a very neglectful and abusive relationship. The families that I saw the least harm had fathers that were detached from the LC or loosely associated. If a man got involved, the harm was GREAT!

Sorry...for the "every," but that's my recount!

To say that Don's history as an "higher-up" would give him credibly or insight baffles me. I think he was just more tangled in the mess and I still haven't heard of counseling that has been a part of his process of leaving and cleaving to Christ.

I think our group parallels that of crazy sects of the Mormon church, I don't think many would argue that they didn't need detoxing and healing from that mess...nothing different with the LC in my opinion. Crazy beliefs have to be sorted. The making of a man to be cold and heartless towards their family has to be worked through (as seen in the LC). The wounds of children are deep...especially the oldest children. The biblical falsehoods need to be relearned.

A person can insist that they were merely around it but didn't indulge in the practices, but history proves that misery loves company...Satan doesn't normally leave one little special someone alone and twist the hearts of the rest. I think its rather egotistical to say you were above the painful practices of this male chauvinist group/cult.

Oops...did I step out of all the guys comfort zone!??!
02-06-2009 08:25 AM
YP0534
Re: The LCS Factor

I have certainly never dismissed or belittled the ladies' stories that were told here. They are insightful examples of underlying tendencies, not commonly practiced to my knowledge, but certainly neither unheard of nor unexpected. I don't know of a case of physical abuse but psychological drama was part and parcel of the LC experience and it got extremely out of hand sometimes.

Stories like theirs are part of the whole history and these tales need to be told and the wounded ones need our support. However, some fair amount of challenge and scrutiny is obviously necessary since impostors with other agendas can post the same things falsely. No one should just gullibly believe everything they read, particularly what is posted on the Internet.

But if someone can't see how a larger treatment of the entire history of all of this needs to be told by someone who had the higher-up contacts to speak knowledgeably about the main players, the problematic slant is plain.
02-06-2009 07:49 AM
OBW
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
OBW it is my understanding that the purpose of a local church discussion forum on the world wide web is to discuss the local churches. I did not think it was limited to current or former members. Did you? And since this is a discussion forum I am here discussing. And it so happens that the topic of this particular thread is the abuses in the LCS and especially of the youth. And as things would turn out some ladies came here to discuss their experiences and they were basically called liars by a former elder of the LCS. And that is what we are currently discussing.

You may be influenced by the fact that Hope was a former elder of the LCS but I'm not in the least bit impressed. He was a leader in an oppressive, unhealthy, cultic, abusive group that has caused untold damage to many. And if it was my mother or sister or daughter being called a liar by this guy I wouldn't be sitting wringing my hands and worrying about how pleasant and lovely and nice this thread should be, would you?
And I never said that this forum is open only to current and former members. I commented on the way that you conduct yourself here. You can’t engage me in a straw man argument that easily.

As for my opinion of Don, whatever it is, I base it upon his actions, past and present, and upon my present assessment of him, not some system of which both he and I were once members. You assess people on virtually nothing but association. You have no basis to do otherwise. Yet you continue to assert your opinion as if it is rock-solid fact.

Last, without insinuating anything specific, have you ever seen the “Big House?” If you had, then some desire for a reconciliation of contradictions would be understood.
02-06-2009 07:01 AM
Overflow
Re: The LCS Factor

It makes me vomit to hear the guys beg and plea for Don to write a chapter in a book (that will inevitably be slanted) and yet two ladies recount of abuse is over and over again dismissed and belittled! BlessD, I completely believe your story and I am so sorry for the disrespect of women that we were raised with and continue to see on this forum.

When I wrote my response to Don, I regret being naive and believing that he could switch from an Angry Mean Spirited Man to Mr. Calm and Collect in 2.2 seconds. I always thought that the cult we were a part of did severe brainwashing, but to learn of the "perfecting training" and the time that it was introduced in the LC, I'm convinced that my dad (who wanted to make sure his family of origin didn't break up as his parents had when he was young - so would have naturally gripped too hard) was trained to abuse my mom, sisters and I.

Unfortunately my older sister got the brunt of it (I've seen a trend in my friends that the oldest got the most major sting of abuse). I hope one day my sister will get on here and share her painful stories (not that she will be believed because she's a female). I remember being up from 10pm-2am several nights a week (beginning in the mid 80s) listening to her in hysteria as she was questioned by my dad. I would just wish she'd apologize...little did I know that he was breaking her being, crushing her spirit, and teaching her to despise the very beautiful sweet girl that God had formed her to be. (As a side note, she was a people pleaser and never rebelled despite the constant abuse).

Some nights I would sneak into mom's room, but I'd have to knock hard to get mom to finally UNLOCK the door! She would be perched on her bed with a "sneaked" library book (heaven forbid dad let her read books outside of the LC). She'd retreat to another place and never even blink twice at the wretched situation in her own dining room table. As soon as I entered the room she'd lock the door behind me so as not to be disturbed by the drama!

This is just one of many issues at the heart of our perfect family growing up! After reading about perfecting training on Saturday night, on Sunday at church, I weaped as I sang and then couldn't sing because I was hit hard by an ugly cry! It hit me how big of a mess the LC was/still is! I pray for complete healing for my beautiful older sister and an ability to separate all of the lies from the truth! And I feel angry that my dad in the midst of all this yuck still holds firm to the notion that he was and is one of God's BEST and GREATEST instruments! The truth is He is a very broken man who was taught strategically how to rip apart that which God had created! He continues to play God with his wife and my baby sister still to this day!

Galatians 6:1-2 1Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. 2Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

I do pray that the man that has caused me the greatest anger, pain, anguish and torment, would one day bow to his knees and repent and be restored to a humble servant of the Lord.
02-06-2009 05:49 AM
YP0534
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger View Post
I offer my humble encouragement for you to continue.
Roger

Ditto.

I had close care early on by some great eldership as well as some lousy eldership later on. I realize that the reason for the latter was the same as the reason for the former, i.e.: the great eldership I was benefited by was a meek and humble fleshly effort whereas the lousy eldership I was injured by was a ferocious and prideful fleshly effort. When the latter materialized, the former evaporated. That is merely human nature, though - two sides of the same coin.

The worldly-religious institution that the Local Church has become has an entrenched mythology that whatever it does is what God does and this leaves its members entirely unable to appropriately handle or even accept the obvious negative aspects of their practice.

The key is to see through the mythology and I believe your contribution, dear brother Hope, is one of the best keys available.

I encourage you to reconsider, for the sake of all.
02-06-2009 05:29 AM
Paul Cox
Re: The LCS Factor

Dear Brother Don,

As a non-hyphenated American, with some African blood running through my veins, I much appreciated the telling of your father's experience in the ole south.

I was disappointed, also, to hear that there may not be a third chapter of your book. I'm sure that one of the things you must have learned from your father is to stick to your guns and follow through with your original intention, no matter from where the rocks fly.

I have a much less enthusiastic view of the early Local Church, but that's okay. Every history is indeed unique to the writer, and I think I have much to learn from your account. This is not something we could enjoy under the iron fist of LSM. O offer my humble encouragement for you to continue.

Roger


PS: Tell those stuffed suited bobble heads over on LaPalma to shove it.
02-05-2009 10:39 PM
blessD
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
I will respond to this one point because I have considered the same fact, but from a different view.
...At this point, the only thing I see happening is a request for Don to concur in the details or the events that BlessD and JulieP have presented. Whether those details are absolutely 100 percent accurate or were mired in the trauma of what actually happened, never to be clearly remembered again, I presume that something happened that was effectively what they described...
...I cannot confirm this, but I have suspicions that BlessD and JulieP may have been pushed into their participation. I cast no dispersions at them for it. If it is not true, then it is not true. If it is true, then someone may have wanted the fight that erupted, or at least were trying to make a point that the stories did not make. That seemed fairly clear the first time BlessD came with her story. She simply told the story. But others made it into something more. There was an agenda. It was all but admitted at one point. I’m truly sorry for the hurt they endured because of this agenda. It was not their fault and it shouldn’t have happened.
The details were not mired in the trauma. It happened just as I have said it happened. No more, no less. It was what it was. How many times must I say this?

Your suspicion is exactly that. I was not pushed into participating on this forum. I have repeatedly said this. JulieP also stated the forum could be cathartic for her. Is it so hard to believe that we could actually want to talk out some of the pain with friends since almost no one in our current life can relate to the weird upbringing we had (lol)? After all, I kind of thought this is what this thread was about. Since I personally had a melt down in my life much like the #1 post on this thread, I sort of took it as an invitation to Come Just As I Am, Without One Plea. Little did I expect to be clobbered with questions and then brazenly told what happened could not have happened as I said it (almost 6 months after I shared the story in the first place).

I will venture to say, I believe some have an agenda here and this is why I was lambasted as I was. If what I said did not or does not support some point that is trying to be made, then the story must be discounted, pushed down, put aside, proven false, or brought into question by the use of words like 'mired'.

There were so many things that led me to the conclusion I was in a cult. How about the little tidbit of the Perfecting Training? How about how I married someone when I knew little more than the person's name and after repeatedly conveying to the elders that we had too little in common to marry? How about having very little family life, moving constantly, or my closest friends (brothers & sisters) always moving away? How about a sister committing suicide and a couple of days later we were told in a meeting not to talk about it, and basically we just need to move on? How about the constant battle of hearing things that did not line up with God's word? How about when brothers stood up and told testimonies that included statements about their wives that were rude and how marriage was such a cross (at best)? How about seeing the fake humility and sometime blatant arrogance of some men who took advantage of the power they perceived they had? How about all that? Was all that false, too? Was it mired in trauma?

Oh and there is more where that came from, dear brother.... So, you can see some little incident that occurred when I was 16 was of little effect in my history in the LC and my conclusion I was in a cult. (Just in case I second guess myself as memories fade, I can always go read the Perfecting Training transcript attached in an earlier post on this thread and I am certain very quickly).
02-05-2009 09:36 PM
Terry
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
Thankfully this forum is not a LCS where whatever the "elder" says settles it.
No it's not. There are no elders here. For the most part, just brothers and sisters in the Lord. A lagging effect of the LCS system is the ability by posters to separate a brother and his former function as an elder.

Terry
02-05-2009 08:36 PM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

Hope if you feel God has commissioned you to write a history of the LCS why let the LSM or this little forum deter you from it? But as you know being a historian esp in the first person is a thankless task because there are many views of the same history. Yours will be one of many.

Personally I truly wish a third party historian with complete access to all people involved and documents would write a history of the LCS. I think that would give it some objective scholarship.
02-05-2009 08:22 PM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

Terry that is how I see it too which is why I'm wondering about those ladies who posted their experiences and were essentially dismissed as being liars by a former elder. Thankfully this forum is not a LCS where whatever the "elder" says settles it.
02-05-2009 08:15 PM
Terry
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdavidson View Post
But if you do your homework you will notice that this is “an online community of former and current members of the local churches”. Far as it is advertised and as far as I can see this is a discussion forum and not a place for people to settle old scores and browbeat people who are trying to work through a very difficult experience in their lives. Some are still right smack dab in the middle of the whole thing right now. Some obviously still have family and loved ones right in the middle of the whole thing.
Yep jdavidson. That is how I see it. It's not for settling old scores. I have appreciated being able to connect with former attendees of local churches. I still have relations still meeting in the local churches. As long as I do, I'll still a have a limited interest in the present and past.
I have appreciated Hope's first two chapters. At this moment it appears this thread has done more to hinder the third chapter than what LSM could conceivably do.

Terry
02-05-2009 08:01 PM
kisstheson
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post

Why is it that the ex-LC is fighting itself so strongly here?
An excellent question, dear brother OBW/Mike. Why are we fighting amongst ourselves so strongly here?

I hate the thought that the brothers over on La Palma can get grim satisfaction out of watching the fights erupt here at "the leper colony". Even worse, of course, is the damage and the hurt we may be inflicting on one another. Dear Lord, have mercy on us! Also, think of the discouragement we may be causing those dear confused ones in the LC who want to get out but who see nothing better.

I take the quotation in my "tag line" very serioulsy: "The best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better."
02-05-2009 07:29 PM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

FPO I agree with you generally speaking. But in this particular issue Hope has basically positioned himself as a former elder "in the know" and is therefore qualified to say in essence that the ladies who told their stories of abuse are lying. It is easy to assume "While he must know. He was an elder." But my assumption is not that. For example, if someone told me about abuse in the RC and a former priest told me: "Oh I was there and that couldn't have happened. I know I was a priest myself." What do you think most sane people will think about that?
02-05-2009 07:19 PM
kisstheson
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by YP0534 View Post
I've tried to engage on an entirely different topic.

I believe I discovered that a good part of Lee's "recovery" notes were actually "recycled" notes from old Sunday School lessons.

I posted an example.

Nobody even nibbled.

:justlurking:
Dear brother YP0534,

I must have missed something! Free time for reading and posting on the forums has been in extremely short supply for me lately, and most of this time has been spent either posting on "the other forum" or posting comments related to the LC-related article over at christianitytoday.com.

Last I remember, you felt that the "plagarism" charge was not the real issue; rather, the real issue was the authority which is given to Lee's ministry by the LC faithful. As I remember, you did no appreciate how many of us jumped on the "dear brother Nigel" bandwagon. If I understand your recent post on this thread, you have found some additional material which Lee recycled for his RcV footnotes?! And this additional material is old "Sunday School Lesson" notes??!!

I'm nibbling, I'm nibbling!! Please let us know more details on whichever thread is most appropriate.
02-05-2009 07:08 PM
finallyprettyokay
Re: The LCS Factor

Here I go --- wading in again to water probably too deep for my head. I'll just do my best.

First of all --- Don, I love your dad. I mean, of course, I love your story about him. God bless him. I am thinking maybe he is no longer with you, but the thought occurs to me that all politics aside, he would have been happy on Inauguration Day. I just have to tell you, my father still hasn't learned what your father seemed to know all along. Hurray for people like your dad.

Secondly --- anyone paying attention to my posts will know that I have had issues with Don more than once. Maybe still do --- some. Still, I have to say that I have seldom seen anyone apologize more than Don has on this board. I give him all sorts of credit for that.

DJ, you wrote this to OBW:
Quote:
You may be influenced by the fact that Hope was a former elder of the LCS but I'm not in the least bit impressed.
. I wonder how you think any of us could have survived escaping from the LC if we felt that way. I don't know that it would be possible to go through the process it took to get out of that system, and (a slower process, to be sure) to get that system out of us, if we held that idea. No one gets a pass from me based on what position they hold --- anywhere, let alone there. Please give us more credit than that. I think we must have gotten past that pedestal-putting. Healthy respect of each other? Priceless.
02-05-2009 06:59 PM
kisstheson
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
I originally desired to write a history about the local church movement for the benefit of any who had been stumbled or disillusioned by the failures or the offenses on their conscience. In addition, I hoped it would be of some value for those who desired to learn from the past and to pursue the Lord in a strong way. Now I am not sure. I have been warned by the LSM. I have been told directly by some posters that they were trying to stop me. Perhaps that is what should happen. Thus, for the time being I am signing off. May the joy of the Lord be the strength of you all.
Dear brother Don,

I didn’t want to let you go away without saying that I am very sorry to hear that there may not be a Chapter 3 to your book. :verysad: I publicly stated on the other forum that I thought a faithful telling of “The Rise and Fall” of the LC, especially one written by an former “insider”, would be extremely helpful to both hurt ex-members and confused current members. I also thought that it would serve as a faithful warning regarding past mistakes to help safeguard future generations of seekers. My hope was that your book would serve a somewhat similar function regarding the LC's past as dear brother H.A. Ironside's book A Historical Sketch of the Brethren Movement did regarding the history of the Plymouth Brethren. I have been a big believer in this project right from the start!

You certainly need to do what you believe to be right before the Lord. We trust that you will be faithful to His leading. No matter what you decide to do, may our dear Lord bless you richly and may He draw you ever deeper into His heart of love. May the God of peace keep you in His perfect peace.

I love you in Christ, dear brother Don.
02-05-2009 05:44 PM
YP0534
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
I just may refuse to do more than lurk with respect to this thread. Anyone else think that is a good idea? This is destroying the discussions. I note that hashing it out with Albert on the other forum is getting much more fun.
I've tried to engage on an entirely different topic.

I believe I discovered that a good part of Lee's "recovery" notes were actually "recycled" notes from old Sunday School lessons.

I posted an example.

Nobody even nibbled.

:justlurking:
02-05-2009 05:41 PM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

OBW it is my understanding that the purpose of a local church discussion forum on the world wide web is to discuss the local churches. I did not think it was limited to current or former members. Did you? And since this is a discussion forum I am here discussing. And it so happens that the topic of this particular thread is the abuses in the LCS and especially of the youth. And as things would turn out some ladies came here to discuss their experiences and they were basically called liars by a former elder of the LCS. And that is what we are currently discussing.

You may be influenced by the fact that Hope was a former elder of the LCS but I'm not in the least bit impressed. He was a leader in an oppressive, unhealthy, cultic, abusive group that has caused untold damage to many. And if it was my mother or sister or daughter being called a liar by this guy I wouldn't be sitting wringing my hands and worrying about how pleasant and lovely and nice this thread should be, would you?
02-05-2009 05:10 PM
OBW
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
Far from taking potshots as you'll recall I started this thread and I find it quite interesting that it is the most popular thread in this entire forum. Quite a telling point don't you think?
I will respond to this one point because I have considered the same fact, but from a different view.

This thread has been a place to whip whoever certain persons wanted to whip. The rancor got so bad that several people dropped out of the forum altogether. At this point, the only thing I see happening is a request for Don to concur in the details or the events that BlessD and JulieP have presented. Whether those details are absolutely 100 percent accurate or were mired in the trauma of what actually happened, never to be clearly remembered again, I presume that something happened that was effectively what they described. I actually think that Don does as well.

But if you tell me I must agree that the details are correct, that is impossible because I do not know the details. I may be able to say that I have no reason to doubt them. I may be able to say that while some details seem unlikely for some reason, I have no reason to doubt the overall story. But if I say that the details are correct, I would be lying because I have no factual basis for that statement. I would be that witness in the trial that was spoon-fed a testimony of facts to which I could not actually say that I observed with my own eyes. It’s called perjury.

This thread has caused most of the people to back away. Notice that there is almost no activity in any other thread. And the activity in this thread is only from a few and only a few total posts a day. This thread is almost dead, and the rest of the forum is a ghost town. And every time it seems to get too light, certain ones (often the outsider, you) come back with some inflammatory line that gets people back in the fight.

And to top it off, this thread had languished for over a month until Ohio and I came here to make some apologies ─ not to get the thread started again, but to clear the air with respect to what had gone on. Maybe we needed to do a better job. It seems that a few started to refocus and clear their heads, then a new ruckus was created. And as it started up, everyone else just backed away.

Why is it that the ex-LC is fighting itself so strongly here? I suggest that the topic of the thread was too subject to manipulation. And there is much pushing by someone who is not actually an ex-LCer, or a current LCer, but someone with nothing to do but poke around at things that he gets second hand. There are/were some that had an agenda and would challenge anyone who disagreed to a duel. I cannot confirm this, but I have suspicions that BlessD and JulieP may have been pushed into their participation. I cast no dispersions at them for it. If it is not true, then it is not true. If it is true, then someone may have wanted the fight that erupted, or at least were trying to make a point that the stories did not make. That seemed fairly clear the first time BlessD came with her story. She simply told the story. But others made it into something more. There was an agenda. It was all but admitted at one point. I’m truly sorry for the hurt they endured because of this agenda. It was not their fault and it shouldn’t have happened.

I just may refuse to do more than lurk with respect to this thread. Anyone else think that is a good idea? This is destroying the discussions. I note that hashing it out with Albert on the other forum is getting much more fun.
02-05-2009 04:16 PM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

Dear Friends,

In 1972, in Dallas, I taught school in a 99% minority school. At the same time, in my home area in rural Eastern Arkansas, a terrible racial strife was unfolding. My father was a member of the local school board. He and two other members out of the five were attempting to integrate the county school system.

My home area was a classic example of the racist south. About half the population was African-American. Then the polite word was Colored. You all know about the N word. On many occasions my father admonished me regarding how the Black folks should be treated. I heard him often lament that he believed the USA would be punished by God for the way the Blacks had been treated. He had built up a small business and about half of his patrons were black. I worked for him and he was very careful about the respect I showed the blacks. In those days, black adults were called by their first names never by Mr. So and So or Mrs. So and So. My dad made sure I always referred to the black patrons as Mr. … or Mrs…. Or Miss …

Because my dad took a stand for the blacks and integrating the school system he was forced to carry a pistol for protection. An asasination attempt had been made on the chairman of the board. My younger brother was beaten. My dad would have secret meetings late at night among whites and blacks who desired peace and harmony. They had to meet in the dark and come by foot to his building at different times lest they be seen. Among the white racist the worst person was a N-Lover. A N-Lover was much worse than a plain ole N. Eventually my dad had to close his business.

So on the one hand, in Arkansas, I was being assailed as the son of a N-Lover. On the other hand, I was drug into the black principal’s office on several occasions and accused of being a white man. Because I was a white man from the South, I was allegedly not treating some student fairly and giving him a low grade simple because he was black. Fortunately math work is very straight forward. I had documentation regarding why a student was failing. I also could marshal support from black teachers and parents and other students about how fair I was. I believe I could have lost my job had I not had documentation and backing from blacks.

What was I? A N-Lover or a white racist. It was all in the eye of the beholder. Some of my former colleagues in the local churches see me as some kind of negative opposer who is deceived and lost his vision. Some former local churchers see me as a former LC elder who is acting out some kind of abusive deviant behavior and in need of a lobotomy to rid himself of his corrupt thoughts and toxic behavior.

What was interesting and painful in the past was the value judgments of each camp. If the East Arkansas racists had know that I had failed a black boy regardless of the merit of the action, they would have hailed me for putting the little N in his place. Had my principal known that my parents and family had suffered for standing up for blacks she would have given me a party and bestowed honors on me. My principal was a very good lady but I wish that I had opened up to her about what my family was going through. But when you have been accused of being a racist de facto just because you are white, it is difficult to be open.

I originally desired to write a history about the local church movement for the benefit of any who had been stumbled or disillusioned by the failures or the offenses on their conscience. In addition, I hoped it would be of some value for those who desired to learn from the past and to pursue the Lord in a strong way. Now I am not sure. I have been warned by the LSM. I have been told directly by some posters that they were trying to stop me. Perhaps that is what should happen. Thus, for the time being I am signing off. May the joy of the Lord be the strength of you all.

Hope, Don Rutledge

A believer in Christ Jesus who is seeking to be a true disciple.
02-05-2009 12:38 PM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

OBW I don't know what "we" are saying but what I am saying is that the LCS leadership presents us a pattern of abuse. When confronted they do what Hope has been doing on this thread in real time and he supposedly left 20 years ago!

And why would you be embarrassed when I bring up the obvious point that the elders of a church in a certain city don't even live in that city? Why are they not elders in their own cities? This is a completely legit point when discussing the doctrine of dirt ecclesiology and that is the thread I mentioned it on.

Far from taking potshots as you'll recall I started this thread and I find it quite interesting that it is the most popular thread in this entire forum. Quite a telling point don't you think?
02-05-2009 09:32 AM
bookworm
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by blessD View Post
Actually being "too straight" is not the real problem with the paragraph in
your post #1191. (Note: I am putting below a copy which I still had of that
paragraph because it was removed from post #1191 in the last hour or so. I
really don't understand how that happened.)

Originally Posted by Hope


I bolded the part that is the real problem with what you wrote. The problem
is that you have continued to state that you do not believe my account or
Juliep's account. You have done this even after we have repeatedly asserted
to you that our accounts were accurate. Don, unless you have facts or real
evidence to the contrary, it is very wrong for you not to just take us at
our word.

Having been on the receiving end of your being "straight," please allow me
to reciprocate: Deleting that paragraph would not correct the problem. What
is needed is for you to face the fact and admit that you have been wrong to
continue to question our accounts. After doing that, then you should
apologize to both Juliep and me publicly for repeatedly calling our honesty
into question.

blessD

I would like to bring the attention back to this post #1238 from blessD. She deserves a response and as long as Hope avoids responding to her this thread will go nowhere.
02-05-2009 08:26 AM
OBW
Re: The LCS Factor

DJ,

Igzy has restated my point very clearly.

And while I believe that the questions to BlessD and Julie should probably not have been asked, are we saying that everyone who is now outside the LC (except former elders) can say anything and it be accepted as "stipulated fact" in all aspects? Further, if there might be reasons to question some details (without diminishing the underlying fact of the claim) are we saying that no question can be raised, even if clearing up the issue would ultimately make the claim stronger because the details are more consistent with likely constraints on those details? And even further, do we presume only the worst from anyone who is currently in the LC (whether of the LSM variety or in a breakaway, such as in the GLA) or was ever in leadership in the LC even though out for 20 years?

I think Don has come to the conclusion that the details are really not so important and is willing to "let it go." Can you? Or are you the self-designated "baiter" sent here to raise as big a ruckus as possible, and keep any ruckus that has started going as long as possible? ("Hey! This fight is going away! Get back here and keep fighting!) Are you just here to suck us into nasty fights? It is not profitable.

Add all of this to the fact that you were never part of the LC but would appear to be effectively a ghost writer for someone else who is willing to have you come into this forum and take pot-shots at anybody and everybody, and you move closer and closer to the ignore list every day. That would be a shame because behind your sharp spines there is often something worth considering. But the harder it becomes to find those nuggets, the less likely anyone is going to bother looking. With or without an ignore list, you will become ignored.

Stick to the actual arguments. I can accept you as a ghost writer, but you have to behave. I think that we gave Bilbo more trouble for this kind of behavior on the other forum because he was on the LC side. Why the double standard? I don't know. It should stop now.

Get over Don's prior position as elder in the LC. Get over the fact that Norm doesn't actually live in Detroit. I get embarrassed when it keeps coming up. It is covered in mold and stinks. Quit trying to make everything just like everything else. It is not. This forum is not about transferring guilt from one to another by association. When you talk about Toronto, stick to Toronto. When you talk about Dallas, stick to Dallas. When you talk about Anaheim, stick to Anaheim. When someone who clearly knows you were never in the LC says something about you being an elder in waiting, presume that there is a meaning behind the words because the words themselves were not meant to be understood as fact, but as hyperbole, sarcasm, or some other word-smithing.
02-05-2009 07:07 AM
Cal
Re: The LCS Factor

The history of the behavior of elders is on topic. Insulting and accusing Don is NOT on topic. Please try to keep the two straight. If you can't, I'm sure we can continue to help you along.
02-04-2009 11:30 PM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

OBW the topic of this particular thread on this forum is the negative influence of the LCS on people and especially young people. When some ladies came to this forum and explained some of the things that happened to them while in the LCS Hope responded on length on several occasions essentially calling these women liars. I think discussing his antics and that of the LCS leadership (present and former) is indeed on topic.
02-04-2009 08:22 PM
OBW
Re: The LCS Factor

Can we return the discussion to an actual topic and not the person of Don Rutledge or anyone else. I realize that by the "rules" of th forum, Don is a little bit fair game because he was an elder. And he may have made things worse for himself in some ways because of the appearances created by earlier posts. But just sniping at him is getting really old. I don't think we are accomplishing anything of value with it.
02-04-2009 02:45 PM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

Hope I have attended many churches and have not been an elder or elder in training (whatever that means) in any of them. Clear enough for you?

You have quite a twisted form of logic: since you weren't an elder in training I have a problem with you? May I suggest you come on up out of the rabbit hole at least momentarily for the purposes of this discussion.

I have no problem with you but I do with some of your antics e.g. trying to call some ladies liars on this thread when they are conveying what happened to them in the LCS. Unfortunately for you the LCS leadership has a long history and track record of abusing others and covering it up and expecting others to do likewise or be cursed like Ham and other such fearmongering nonsense.
02-04-2009 07:21 AM
Cal
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
Let it be known that I was never an "elder" in training or otherwise in any church I have ever attended. Instead of embarrassing himself further Ohio better do some more homework if he wants to have any level of gravitas at all.
Let it be known that I think Ohio was joking. Lighten up dj.
02-03-2009 08:33 PM
countmeworthy
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
When I visited the So. California churches, there were plenty of snide innuendos about how inferior the non So. California elders were especially because they had never been trained by WL to be a proper elder. Whatever that meant.
I look forward to reading about this Hope.

Quote:
I often heard remarks about the Ohio bunch which implied their being just a notch above worthless.
Hmmmmm...Thankfully, I never heard the other localities being criticized...but I do remember reading the first couple of 'life study' messages on Genesis. When Lee described the stars, the moon, the sun...he alluded to the church. I remember reading something about when the church isn't shining, it may be dark but the stars are shining..referring to the individual saints.

I was baffled about the church..in various localities not always shining.
I guess I GET IT now.

Quote:
At some point I will cover the competition among the elders and co-workers. There was an appearance that they were all together but the reality was that there were many hard attitudes among them and some very radical differences.
The only time I ever heard a 'negative' word on any elder was about Max. He was sooo loved in San Diego. (I was not there when he was there. He had just been 'promoted' to work side by side with Brother Lee when I arrived.)

Quote:
Why do you think the LSM needed a good purging every few years?
Is there one going on right now? Is that like the GLA/LC vs LSM? Or is one about due...again?

Quote:
For example, I believe it is CMW who refers to her time in San Diego and keeps pointing out that the elders there were different. She gets after me when I mention Max.
Nah-uh. That's FPO who gets after you when you mention Max!

She had just left San Diego when I got there too..I think. HEY..FPO...did you move when Max moved ?

I liked the elders in San Diego..there was only one 'ambitious' brother I recall who tasted 'eldership'. I'm sure I was not the only one who picked that up. Now to ME...he looked like he could be a brother being groomed to be an elder. But he never achieved that status. He's still in the LC...not in San Diego though...

Quote:
good things about Max and Sandy in San Diego and had good times in their home in Anaheim but he was different once he got hooked up as WL’s right hand man and practical administrator
Did you get that FPO? :rollingeyes2:


Quote:
I suppose he got the training. Too bad.
AND the boot. Did you know he and Sandy attended Francis Ball's 'funeral'. They called it something else.
02-03-2009 07:08 PM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
Let it be known that I was never an "elder" in training or otherwise in any church I have ever attended. Instead of embarrassing himself further Ohio better do some more homework if he wants to have any level of gravitas at all.
I guess I am now clear why djohnson thinks so poorly of me. I never was an "elder in training." In my day you just were what you were. I can see why he is so critical. We non Witness Lee trained elders just couldn't cut it. I did hear about some kind of elders in waiting training going on in Anaheim. I did attend many of the regular "study a book in the Bible" trainings and attended just about all of the elders/co-worker meetings. But I guess I just never got in on the real stuff. Dear brother Dan Towle let me know that more than once. (And he was my good friend.) I never got to sit under WL once a week for the real perfecting. I heard it was pretty rough. Maybe that is why ole djohnson acts the way he does. I can’t blame you man.

When I visited the So. California churches, there were plenty of snide innuendos about how inferior the non So. California elders were especially because they had never been trained by WL to be a proper elder. Whatever that meant. I often heard remarks about the Ohio bunch which implied their being just a notch above worthless. I just knew I had heard the tone of djohnson before. Now it all adds up.

Hope, Don Rutledge

PS At some point I will cover the competition among the elders and co-workers. There was an appearance that they were all together but the reality was that there were many hard attitudes among them and some very radical differences. I will get to it. I cannot help but laugh when I read about all the elders were the same. When I hear that I know the person was very limited in scope as to their experience. Why do you think the LSM needed a good purging every few years? For example, I believe it is CMW who refers to her time in San Diego and keeps pointing out that the elders there were different. She gets after me when I mention Max. I heard many good things about Max and Sandy in San Diego and had good times in their home in Anaheim but he was different once he got hooked up as WL’s right hand man and practical administrator. I suppose he got the training. Too bad.

PSS Notice that now djohnson confirms he was at least in attendance in more than one church. Now djohnson don’t say you meant any church but not a local church. (Did you see that cat scurry across the page.)
02-03-2009 05:43 PM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

Let it be known that I was never an "elder" in training or otherwise in any church I have ever attended. Instead of embarrassing himself further Ohio better do some more homework if he wants to have any level of gravitas at all.
02-03-2009 01:42 PM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
blessD are you questioning a former elder of the LCS? How dare you! Don't you know they were trained by that paragon of integrity, purity and incorruptibility a/k/a Mr. Lee? If you do not repent for your insolence I am afraid you are bound for 1,000 years of outer darkness - a purgatory for rebellious lepers like yourself.
Let it be known to all that djohnson was also an elder in training. His condemnations of Hope are hollow indeed.
02-03-2009 08:21 AM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

blessD are you questioning a former elder of the LCS? How dare you! Don't you know they were trained by that paragon of integrity, purity and incorruptibility a/k/a Mr. Lee? If you do not repent for your insolence I am afraid you are bound for 1,000 years of outer darkness - a purgatory for rebellious lepers like yourself.
02-02-2009 10:45 PM
blessD
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
Dear Sister BlessD, and also JulieP,

Regarding the issue of straight talk: The post #1191 which I wrote had a
paragraph at the end that caused the disturbance. It was definitely too
straight. I posted it from work during lunch and left immediately for a
prior engagement. I immediately felt that I should delete the paragraph in
question but I was not able to act for about five hours. When I was next
at a computer, I called up the forum but alas it was too late. I am taking
your admonition very seriously. Love builds up.

Hope, Don Rutledge
Actually being "too straight" is not the real problem with the paragraph in
your post #1191. (Note: I am putting below a copy which I still had of that
paragraph because it was removed from post #1191 in the last hour or so. I
really don't understand how that happened.)

Originally Posted by Hope
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
Dear Overflow,.....It is a straw man argument "that so much happened in
Dallas ... and yet you had NO idea was going on." There are two alleged
instances that have been listed on the forum, not "so much." That two
teenage girls had a very unpleasant experience with some older person or
persons is not the question. The big 16 elder meeting over two teenagers
kissing just could not have occurred in the way it was described. I would
have known about it. Nothing comparable ever occurred. The second, an
effort to back up the first, of 6-7 elders confronting a teenager did not happen.
The actual facts of there being a confrontation was not in my knowledge nor
any outcomes. But parents or some family friend or a church person being
involved in a teenage love issue is not something unique to the local
church, but the two big brew ha ha described are something I would have
known about. What is crazy to me is the gullible acceptance of any negative
tale. If I am going to participate on the forum, I cannot just let anything
go that is so utterly dubious. "I was hurt" is no excuse for playing loose
and free with slanderous reports. It is cruel to make such sweeping
generalizations which defame many innocent persons
...Don Rutledge
I bolded the part that is the real problem with what you wrote. The problem
is that you have continued to state that you do not believe my account or
Juliep's account. You have done this even after we have repeatedly asserted
to you that our accounts were accurate. Don, unless you have facts or real
evidence to the contrary, it is very wrong for you not to just take us at
our word.

Having been on the receiving end of your being "straight," please allow me
to reciprocate: Deleting that paragraph would not correct the problem. What
is needed is for you to face the fact and admit that you have been wrong to
continue to question our accounts. After doing that, then you should
apologize to both Juliep and me publicly for repeatedly calling our honesty
into question.

blessD
02-02-2009 05:41 PM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by blessD View Post
Don, I appreciate the words of apology you have written, but do you really get it. I mean, really get it. You wrote in a post to Overflow, “I do regret needing to speak so plainly and bluntly.” The immediate result after reading that entire post was as if I had been slapped, followed by memories of LC authority practices, and then anger.

One of the things I tell my children is talk straight to me. I have encouraged them to never fear telling me if anything I do or any way I think is in need of revision from their viewpoint. It also goes the other way, so I can be honest with them in the same respects. ... Mind you, this was in an atmosphere of unconditional love. Sometimes the words were hard to hear, but an immediate “look into the mirror” and I could see they were right. Wonderful healing and growth has come from this.

... It is not an easy thing to be honest in love, not judgmental, condemning, shaming, or degrading. Until this practice of straight talk can be done in total support and love, it is better to refrain from such bluntness to prevent becoming a stumbling block or offense. How much more in the spiritual family than in our physical family! ...

I accept your apology and at the same time admonish you to work on the practice of love first, before (or most times, instead of) straight talk. Building up in love is much more important. ...
Dear Sister BlessD, and also JulieP,

Regarding the issue of straight talk: The post #1191 which I wrote had a paragraph at the end that caused the disturbance. It was definitely too straight. I posted it from work during lunch and left immediately for a prior engagement. I immediately felt that I should delete the paragraph in question but I was not able to act for about five hours. When I was next at a computer, I called up the forum but alas it was too late. I am taking your admonition very seriously. Love builds up.

Hope, Don Rutledge
02-01-2009 06:22 PM
YP0534
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by countmeworthy View Post
WHAT?? YET ANOTHER BOOK to READ in my already cluttered library of collected books?

I think I have skimmed through some of Plato...wayyyyy back...in the 70s!
Used to be everybody had to read Plato.

Don't bother. It's really not worth your time.
But the technique is similar.
02-01-2009 04:15 PM
countmeworthy
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by kisstheson View Post
Dear sister cmw,

It looks like our last two posts overlapped. I am all for a 'break' and a !

Hey, that is neat what you did with the smiley!
I sort of tweeked my short post...and the smiley group hug words were placed by Matt ! Thanks MATT...whereever you are!
02-01-2009 03:47 PM
kisstheson
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by countmeworthy View Post
Ok...without getting too emotionally mushy...I'm going to suggest we 'break' and give ourselves a Oh..and be sure to point the curser on the hug...

.............................as long as its' in S/spirit.
Dear sister cmw,

It looks like our last two posts overlapped. I am all for a 'break' and a !

Hey, that is neat what you did with the smiley!
02-01-2009 03:41 PM
kisstheson
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by countmeworthy View Post
Oh mannn. What a bummer! I have better understood my spiritual and emotional journey through much of his writings. His writings helped me understand the power of Brokenness...not only his but he got the ball rolling for me.

However, I did find some erroneous statements he made. And they WERE BIG...but he probably didn't understand the words he was using to express what he really wanted to say.
Greetings in Christ, dear cmw,

I too acknowledge a debt to Watchman Nee' writings. You said it so well: "I have better understood my spiritual and emotional journey through much of his writings. His writings helped me understand the power of Brokenness...not only his but he got the ball rolling for me." Amen and amen!

As quick as I am to acknowledge my debt to what the Lord ministered to me through WN's writings, I do have to admit that I am not a big fan of his later "restored" ministry (1948-1952). We have discussed a lot about this on the "Early Nee vs. Later Nee" thread. While some of his best stuff was spoken during those later years (The Character of the Lord's Worker, for example), there is much there that proved to be very unhealthy. Considering the context of those years - the big emphasis on submission to deputy authority, the concentration of co-workers into regional headquarters to direct all the movements of the brothers and sisters, and the not-so-subtle peer pressure related to "handing over" material possessions - this kind of training is troubling. How could it not serve but to build up a concept of WN as "THE big cheese" in everyone's minds? That is just human nature - to build pyramids with one person at the top and to overly exalt the ministers of Christ.

Private fellowship is one thing, but for WN to publicly render "spiritual judgement" over 66 trainees did not help the bad situation of over-exalting WN which was definitely developing. I must certainly emphasize that I am not the Lord, so I am not the one who "looks on the heart of man". I give WN the benefit of the doubt that his heart was right and that his motives for doing this were pure and directed solely at the furtherance of God's kingdom on earth. I just question the wisdom of such a public display of "spiritual judgement" (especially at this time), along with the wisdom of recording and publishing such a public display.
02-01-2009 03:39 PM
countmeworthy
Re: The LCS Factor

Ok...without getting too emotionally mushy...I think this is one of those rare moments that calls for a Oh..and be sure to point the curser on the hug...

.............................as long as its' in S/spirit.


LORD!!!!!! HAVE MERCY on US!!!!
02-01-2009 02:31 PM
kisstheson
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by finallyprettyokay View Post
I want to borrow from kisstheson here --- kts, hope you don't mind. I'm feeling some strong emotions, and really really need to borrow from you. Here goes:

Hello dear ones, beloved in Christ,

I need to say that those of us that escaped that place, that system, owe such a huge debt to God for saving us and bringing us to a new life. And now, here on the forum, we find others who have passed through and are finding freedom and joy and acceptance in Him. And so we have this in common, this is what we share.

And I need to say that I am glad you are here, I am glad I cyber-know all of you. I appreciate you all, as we struggle to find the path and then to stay on the path that He has for us.

So we have a bond.

Thanks for being here, one and all.

fpo
Amen, dear fpo. I definitely understand your strong emotions. The fact that we can all gather here, to love one another, minister to one another, and heal one another in Him, is too precious for words! The fellowship here is worth more than anything in the world.

How we thank you, dear heavenly Father, for this gathering place.
02-01-2009 07:25 AM
countmeworthy
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by kisstheson View Post
WL undoutedly was inspired to do this by WN. There is a whole book in the "Collected Works of Watchman Nee" entitled Spiritual Judgement and Examples of Judgement (Volume 58 of the Collected Works of WN)
Oh mannn. What a bummer! I have better understood my spiritual and emotional journey through much of his writings. His writings helped me understand the power of Brokenness...not only his but he got the ball rolling for me.

However, I did find some erroneous statements he made. And they WERE BIG...but he probably didn't understand the words he was using to express what he really wanted to say.

The erroneous statement he made (& I'll have to find it to quote it exactly) was about a brother who appeared to be in good standing for a long time. He had a hidden struggle no one knew about so he finally went to Nee privately and told him for some 10 plus years or more he smoked secretly. He really wanted to be set free and didn't know how.

Nee rejoiced the brother came to him for help..and Nee knew the LORD would set him free...but as he is counseling the brother he TOLD ...yes he did...he told the brother to say something like "PRAISE the LORD I SMOKE!!

I was shocked and horrified when I read this..but what Nee was trying to tell the brother is that he could not stop smoking in his own strength. It was the through the power of the Holy Spirit he would stop. Confessing was the first step.

This is not how he worded it though. However, confession of his sin/problem..and surrendering it to the LORD is how he would be set free.

I wish we would ALL be more careful when we speak! May we pray for WISDOM before opening our big mouths!! It will avoid a lot of confusion and misunderstandings!!!!

This spiritual judgment is PHOOEY! PHOOEY! and I'm ) where do they get it from???

You know..we were drilled to get to 'speak' LIFE...so much emphasis on 'our spirit'...and these guys turn around and walk in the flesh!!! NO ONE can tell me that kind of 'training' was directed by the Holy Spirit and the Word of GOD!!!

And if someone were to tell me 'It's in the Word of God', I'd snap right back and say "SATAN QUOTED THE WORD OF GOD!"

Ok...gotta go take a breather here!
02-01-2009 07:08 AM
countmeworthy
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by YP0534 View Post
Not that this necessarily makes it any better, but has anyone read Plato?

WHAT?? YET ANOTHER BOOK to READ in my already cluttered library of collected books?

I think I have skimmed through some of Plato...wayyyyy back...in the 70s!
02-01-2009 03:26 AM
YP0534
Re: The LCS Factor

Not that this necessarily makes it any better, but has anyone read Plato?
01-31-2009 11:42 PM
finallyprettyokay
Re: The LCS Factor

I want to borrow from kisstheson here --- kts, hope you don't mind. I'm feeling some strong emotions, and really really need to borrow from you. Here goes:

Quote:
Hello dear ones, beloved in Christ,
I need to say that those of us that escaped that place, that system, owe such a huge debt to God for saving us and bringing us to a new life. And now, here on the forum, we find others who have passed through and are finding freedom and joy and acceptance in Him. And so we have this in common, this is what we share.

And I need to say that I am glad you are here, I am glad I cyber-know all of you. I appreciate you all, as we struggle to find the path and then to stay on the path that He has for us.

As CMW said
Quote:
Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them..

and

Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
So before I get really very mooshy, let me just say this: I really like/love all of you in God. I do. We have a bond. Imagine the people who lived through the plane crashing in the Hudson River -- they have a bond, always. Well, they ain't seen nothing, huh? A floating plane in the freezing river, or a Perfecting Training? Ummm -- Both have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder waiting in the wings --- I could be wrong, but were any of those guys floating in that plane for oh, say Thirty Years? (See CMW's thread about how long we each were there).

So we have a bond.

Thanks for being here, one and all.

fpo


------
01-31-2009 11:10 PM
Terry
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by kisstheson View Post

The "Perfecting Training" was a long-term training held in Anaheim that lasted, off and on, from February, 1980, to May, 1982.

Yes, brothers were called up front to speak about what they had learned or experienced concerning the previous message. And yes, Witness Lee would "critique" the speaking of these brothers. If I remember correctly, a lot of the "critique" was focused on exposing the opinion and peculiarity in the brothers who were called up front. And yes, it was not always easy to watch. It was definitely awkward at times.
Thanks Kisstheson. You have provided a better perspective. No wonder I had not heard of this type of training. It was before my time.

Terry
01-31-2009 11:07 PM
blessD
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Yeppers... you described it exactly as it happened all right.

...Man, in skimming through this again (first time in many years) I can't believe how weird it now seems. Having some guy sit up in a chair and pick apart people, and then have other brothers play the part of an amateur psychologist and figure out whats "wrong" with somebody or how they can fix themselves up to be like Witness Lee wanted them to be.
Thanks for providing these artifacts. I read the transcript and shook my head. So strange. Dear Lord, did I sit through this? How could I sit through this? gag

I remember meeting attendence dropped in OKC during this time, it's no wonder.
01-31-2009 10:33 PM
UntoHim
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by blessD View Post
Fyi… The Perfecting Training was a video-taped event just like other trainings, but it occurred once a week. WL sat behind a desk facing the camera in what looked very much like the Tonight Show set. There were plants and décor. There were chairs (or a chair) that sat beside the big desk also facing the camera. A selected brother (I think mostly elders were picked) was brought up to sit in the chair beside WL. WL would then begin to point out the brother’s various weaknesses in an attempt to “perfect” the brother, thus the title of the training. Here in OKC, we would go watch this like any other training meeting. I remember sitting in them thinking this was so weird. And, not only weird, but sick. I thought “who does this man think he is, God?” It was the ultimate in public humiliation from my viewpoint.

I would like to hear from any others on the forum who remember this and please correct me if I did not describe it exactly as it happened.
Yeppers... you described it exactly as it happened all right.

I remember sitting at one of these grueling meetings close enough that Lee looked at me (and give that kind of look like he was going to call you up), then he probably thought... this kids too young. He usually picked on brothers who had been around a while.

I noticed that this was copyrighted in 1983 but not published until June of 1990 - not long after the Ingalls et al resigned and left the Local Church...very interesting timing.:rollingeyes2:


From the Preface:
"This book is composed of messages given by Brother Witness Lee from February 1980 through May 1982 in Anaheim, California"

You can click on the Thumbnail picture there to increase size.

I have placed a copy of Adobe Docs showing the "CONTENTS" of the book.
You will have to top of page, hit "view", then "rotate view" then "clockwise" to view the Adobe Doc correctly.

The third Adobe Doc is a sample to give those who are not familiar with this particular "training".
Man, in skimming through this again (first time in many years) I can't believe how weird it now seems. Having some guy sit up in a chair and pick apart people, and then have other brothers play the part of an amateur psychologist and figure out whats "wrong" with somebody or how they can fix themselves up to be like Witness Lee wanted them to be.
01-31-2009 09:58 PM
blessD
Re: The LCS Factor

Thanks for providing more facts about what the meetings were about. I never understood the concept, and still don't. Is there anyone on this forum that happened to go through one of these perfecting sessions in the chair next to WL. I'd like your perspective.

From a 20/21 year old perspective, it made me feel sick to my stomach. I didn't see anything positive in critiquing someone like this. I would not call it critiquing.
01-31-2009 09:19 PM
kisstheson
Re: The LCS Factor

Hello dear ones, beloved in Christ,

The "Perfecting Training" was a long-term training held in Anaheim that lasted, off and on, from February, 1980, to May, 1982. Witness Lee often went out of town to hold conferences elsewhere, so there were frequent gaps of two or three weeks between "Perfecting Training" meetings.

Yes, brothers were called up front to speak about what they had learned or experienced concerning the previous message. And yes, Witness Lee would "critique" the speaking of these brothers. If I remember correctly, a lot of the "critique" was focused on exposing the opinion and peculiarity in the brothers who were called up front. And yes, it was not always easy to watch. It was definitely awkward at times.

This is not just my (often unreliable) memory! The speaking of these brothers and the speaking of WL are both preserved in the printed book Perfecting Training. The speaking of the brothers is printed in italics, to offset their speaking from WL's speaking. Interestingly enough, in the web version of Perfecting Training on lsm.org, the speaking of the brothers is not italicized, so it is rather difficult to separate the speaking of the brothers from WL's speaking in the web version. But in the printed version the fact that the brothers spoke and then WL "critiqued" their speaking is clearly preserved.

WL undoutedly was inspired to do this by WN. There is a whole book in the "Collected Works of Watchman Nee" entitled Spiritual Judgement and Examples of Judgement (Volume 58 of the Collected Works of WN). After four introductory messages, this whole book (319 pages) consists of 66 "trainees" at Kuling Mountain in China coming forward and giving their testimonies. After each one spoke, WN would publicly critique and judge the testimony which was just spoken. As the introduction of this book states: "In 1948, during Watchman Nee's training at Kuling Mountain, he asked the trainess to give their testimonies. He then followed each testimony with his critique and comment. These critiques and comments were spiritual judgements or discernments of the condition of the trainees."
01-31-2009 08:52 PM
Terry
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by blessD View Post
Fyi… The Perfecting Training was a video-taped event just like other trainings, but it occurred once a week. There were chairs (or a chair) that sat beside the big desk also facing the camera. A selected brother (I think mostly elders were picked) was brought up to sit in the chair beside WL. WL would then begin to point out the brother’s various weaknesses in an attempt to “perfect” the brother, thus the title of the training. Here in OKC, we would go watch this like any other training meeting. I remember sitting in them thinking this was so weird. And, not only weird, but sick. I thought “who does this man think he is, God?” It was the ultimate in public humiliation from my viewpoint.

I would like to hear from any others on the forum who remember this and please correct me if I did not describe it exactly as it happened.
What year or years did these training sessions take place? What you have described in an exercise in abuse. Most brothers and sisters I knew in the local church wouldn't be so willing to subject themselves to a display of public humiliation. If we are to be perfected, only the Lord can do it and not through man.

Terry
01-31-2009 08:06 PM
countmeworthy
Re: The LCS Factor

[QUOTE=blessD;5591]Fyi…
Quote:
The Perfecting Training was a video-taped event just like other trainings, but it occurred once a week. WL sat behind a desk facing the camera in what looked very much like the Tonight Show set. There were plants and décor. There were chairs (or a chair) that sat beside the big desk also facing the camera.
As I read this..UP TO HERE...I was chuckling.....
I stopped as I read further.

Quote:
A selected brother (I think mostly elders were picked) was brought up to sit in the chair beside WL. WL would then begin to point out the brother’s various weaknesses in an attempt to “perfect” the brother, thus the title of the training.
You know what's terribly, terribly sad...is no one objected to this type of training. I wonder how many people left the LSM/LC after seeing these types of 'trainings.'

It's no wonder so many LSMrs repeat verbatim what is taught there.

Quote:
I would like to hear from any others on the forum who remember this and please correct me if I did not describe it exactly as it happened
What years were these 'trainings'.

Looks to me Lee and company could have used some training in Ephesians 4:29 and vs 32 or at the very least an hour a day on 'pray-reading' those verses!

Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them..

and
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Aren't we glad we're not there anymore!!! And in spite of it all, Jesus is still our LORD and KING...the SAVIOR...and to HIM be the Glory..How blessed we are to have been SAVED out of the LSM.
01-31-2009 07:52 PM
countmeworthy
Re: The LCS Factor

[QUOTE=blessD;5591]Fyi…
Quote:
The Perfecting Training was a video-taped event just like other trainings, but it occurred once a week. WL sat behind a desk facing the camera in what looked very much like the Tonight Show set. There were plants and décor. There were chairs (or a chair) that sat beside the big desk also facing the camera.
As I read this..UP TO HERE...I was chuckling.....
I stopped as I read further.

Quote:
A selected brother (I think mostly elders were picked) was brought up to sit in the chair beside WL. WL would then begin to point out the brother’s various weaknesses in an attempt to “perfect” the brother, thus the title of the training.
You know what's terribly, terribly sad...is no one objected to this type of training. I wonder how many people left the LSM/LC after seeing these types of 'trainings.'

It's no wonder so many LSMrs repeat verbatim what is taught there.

Quote:
I would like to hear from any others on the forum who remember this and please correct me if I did not describe it exactly as it happened
What years were these 'trainings'.

Aren't we glad we're not there anymore!!! And in spite of it all, Jesus is still our LORD and KING...the SAVIOR...and to HIM be the Glory..How blessed we are to have been SAVED out of the LSM.
01-31-2009 07:03 PM
finallyprettyokay
Re: The LCS Factor

The Perfecting Training? Wow. I have heard it mentioned here -- I was long gone by then - thankfully! - and had No Idea. What a horrible, horrible thing. BlessD, if anyone corrects you, if you did not describe it exactly right - if it was anything even close to what you wrote -- horrible, horrible.

I'm speechless, had no idea what this was.

I feel sort of sick to my stomach. Horrible.
01-31-2009 06:24 PM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by blessD View Post
The honesty many authority figures used in the LC had nothing to do with love, it was shaming, brutal, and abusive. Some members that practiced this blunt way of speaking to one another even considered it a gift from God…
BlessD, well spoken here.

A true observation, yes, but I don't believe it applies to Hope or his posts.

I also have stories like this. As I have said many times, the program produces bullies out of beloved saints. I also was one.

I remember one leading sister boasting how she was such a "frank" person, while I was trying to comfort another sister who was brutally shaken to tears after being humiliated by such "frankness."

Another victim of the LCS distorted "gift of God." It happened to both brothers and sisters, elders and saints alike.

Lord be merciful to us all.
01-31-2009 06:18 PM
blessD
Re: The LCS Factor

Fyi… The Perfecting Training was a video-taped event just like other trainings, but it occurred once a week. WL sat behind a desk facing the camera in what looked very much like the Tonight Show set. There were plants and décor. There were chairs (or a chair) that sat beside the big desk also facing the camera. A selected brother (I think mostly elders were picked) was brought up to sit in the chair beside WL. WL would then begin to point out the brother’s various weaknesses in an attempt to “perfect” the brother, thus the title of the training. Here in OKC, we would go watch this like any other training meeting. I remember sitting in them thinking this was so weird. And, not only weird, but sick. I thought “who does this man think he is, God?” It was the ultimate in public humiliation from my viewpoint.

I would like to hear from any others on the forum who remember this and please correct me if I did not describe it exactly as it happened.
01-31-2009 01:57 PM
blessD
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
Dear blessD, JulieP, Overflow and others who have become involved in our recent controversy,

I feel very bad for causing any pain to any of you. Please accept my heart felt apology. To the entire forum, in the future I will be slower to respond to any references to myself or to where I may have spent time.
...
Your brother in Christ Jesus,

Hope, Don Rutledge
Don, I appreciate the words of apology you have written, but do you really get it. I mean, really get it. You wrote in a post to Overflow, “I do regret needing to speak so plainly and bluntly.” The immediate result after reading that entire post was as if I had been slapped, followed by memories of LC authority practices, and then anger.

One of the things I tell my children is talk straight to me. I have encouraged them to never fear telling me if anything I do or any way I think is in need of revision from their viewpoint. It also goes the other way, so I can be honest with them in the same respects. As my three older children have grown into adulthood, this practice is probably one of the best to help me overcome destructive thought processes (many of which I gained from the environment in the LC back when I was there). I am talking about ways I thought or behaviors that I may never have recognized by myself. Mind you, this was in an atmosphere of unconditional love. Sometimes the words were hard to hear, but an immediate “look into the mirror” and I could see they were right. Wonderful healing and growth has come from this.

Now to tie the practice of openness I have with my children to your habit of speaking so plainly and bluntly. You will know by the fruit of your speaking if what you have conveyed is really in a spirit of love or not. You usually will know it immediately by the reaction of the other person. Later, you will realize it by changes you are willing to make in yourself. It seems like this would be a “no brainer”, but it is not. It is not an easy thing to be honest in love, not judgmental, condemning, shaming, or degrading. Until this practice of straight talk can be done in total support and love, it is better to refrain from such bluntness to prevent becoming a stumbling block or offense. How much more in the spiritual family than in our physical family! Additionally, this type of honesty in love should be done quietly and in private only in close relationships (in general). It takes knowing someone very, very well to do this successfully. I only speak for myself here; Don, you do not know me well enough "to speak so plainly and bluntly".

I accept your apology and at the same time admonish you to work on the practice of love first, before (or most times, instead of) straight talk. Building up in love is much more important. The honesty many authority figures used in the LC had nothing to do with love, it was shaming, brutal, and abusive. Some members that practiced this blunt way of speaking to one another even considered it a gift from God… yeah, some of you might remember the word “transparency” being associated with it. One very visible and tragic example of this practice was the “perfecting training” (someone else on this forum remembered that tragedy).
01-31-2009 06:49 AM
Overflow
Re: The LCS Factor

Wow! What a roller coaster! I never in a million years would have imagined Don, that you'd respond with so much anger towards me (seemed like I was reading something from my dad). But even more crazy, I never for a second thought that you'd come back with a response with so much heart after your defensive post. I didn't know I was putting you on the attack so much when I mentioned "so much." I'm an adjective person, I'll try to restrain here on the forum so I don't put anyone in a defensive spot. I apologize. I will also attempt not to point out my observations, that doesn't seem to go over well in this format. Sorry! I'm learning.

The reason I asked about apologies you made towards your children was sincere. My father has obviously not moved along in his processing leaving the LC as you have and I wondered what were some of the ways that God had allowed their to be healing. In past posts you have mentioned many things that have lead me to believe that my family has some things to learn from yours and so with a glimmer of hope I asked.

Here's where you shared that you had researched the truth against the LSM material:
Post #1186 I did not just push aside my LSM materials but spent a lot of time from 1984 through 1991 reconsidering everything. By 1989 I had no way to continue my association with them. My children were pretty much in the middle of my wife's and my search. They were at the table and in the living room when we were discussing these matters with each other and with others. At one point, my eldest son admonished me to stop examining the problems of the past and move on with the future.
Here's where you shared that you were vulnerable in your mistakes and purposed to make things right with your children...acknowledging that you made mistakes and were human: (neglecting something that was important to them spoke volumes to me)
Post #188. You mentioned the power of repenting to your children when you are wrong. I cannot tell you how many times I have apologized to my children. Many times I could not sleep until I made it right with the child I had offended. Poor little fellows were sometimes awakened from sleep so their father could tell them that he had been wrong and would they forgive him. This practice has been in my life and in my wife’s life since we married. First we regularly repented to each other and then to the children. When I had sinned against the kids my conscience would be killing me and I could find no peace until I humbled myself and made it right. Many times it was not an overt act on my part but a sin of omission. Perhaps I had neglected something that was important to them etc.
Here's where you shared a sorrow for what happened in families in the LC and a desire for healing:
Post #253 The class system and unequal appreciation of the various members of the body of Christ was a great damage to the children. 1 Cor 12:25-28, "that there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it." Here we see so clearly that to have preferential care creates division. These two items, the division of preferential care and the usurping of the headship of Christ opened the flood gates to the enemy, Satan.

The idolatry of promoting WL was death to the family and to the children. Why did the Lord command the Israelites to utterly destroy the inhabitants of Canaan? It was due to their idolatry. A huge part of Baal worship was the sacrifice of children in order to obtain the blessing of success. The model and agenda set up by the LSM was devastating to the children and families. How much of the training attendance was due to the desire to please WL and the elders? Same with the exhausting local meeting schedule. The average brother and sister may have scored some points but at what cost?

Finally there was no healthy teaching regarding caring for the saints in order to strengthen the family and there was nearly zero understanding on how to resist the devil. In Eph. Chapter three we find: Eph 3:18-19, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. NASB Here we see something of the vast dimensions of Christ. No one person can possibly have it all. If we only have the supply from one member we will get a limited view at best. Witness Lee was good as far as he went but he had only one dimension. Many other gifts to the Body were needed in order to fill in the picture. Sadly our children suffered greatly and the marriages suffered greatly because of his dominating the Lord’s ministry to the church.

The Lord is very angry about what happened to the families and to the children. We all should be very mad. I am mad, mad, mad. I am certainly not mad at the children or the parents. I have no desire to berate them for they are also victims of the LC/LSM system.

There is a need for prayer and fasting for the recovery of the children and for the healing of damaged marriages. It would not hurt to shed many tears for what the enemy has been allowed to do to our wonderful children.
Just to give a little more explanation for my hurts, growing up and still to this day (now many years out of the LC) my parents are detached, neglectful, angry, and still seeking to pursue things that make them look important in the spiritual realm. Growing up there were times of great anger and physical abuse. My mom and dad definitely live in a class system and my dad has controlled my mom to a point that there is nothing of her left.

I have lots of old friends from the LC. I do know that some rebelled from the tight reins as they grew older. For my sisters and I, we tried even harder to gain attention and validation from my parents by attempting to measure up to their unmeetable expectations. I'd like to say that the reason none of us drank, smoked, had premarital sex, etc. was out of a desire to be pure for the Lord, but I think it had everything to do with pleasing my parents. I'm certain that God's Sovereign Hand had lots to do with that also. However, a part of me wishes I hadn't given them the perfect image because it has left them trapped in believing that their lack of relationship with their kids (not knowing a single strength about them as individuals) actually glorified God.

Hope, when I read your initial response I was disappointed that what you shared as issues, needing apologies from your kids were related to 1. making them do their homework and 2. taking them to the Smithsonian. I felt like I was interviewing you for a job and had asked your greatest weakness and that was your response. I've seen you be vulnerable on this forum and hoped that you would share words that God could use to promote healing. I remember your daughter and I'm so glad she has a dad that understands that putting things aside when the kids come over (even if its a bit more work for your wife) is where true value is found. What I wouldn't give for that to be the case in my family!

I have to sign off now, my daughter and I are attending a baby shower and I don't want to keep her waiting. This thread moves so quickly at times I didn't want to be any more behind than perhaps I already am so I wanted to post something now.
01-31-2009 04:53 AM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by blessD View Post
Several others have posted that no one implied "it was rampant". I just want to clarify that I never said "it was rampant". I am not on a side, except the side of truth. I never said, or insinuated "it was rampant". We were an extreme group in many ways (I use the past tense, since I am no longer there). Extremes of any kind have very bad side effects. For anyone that happened to stand strong and strike a balance in the midst of extremes, more power to ya'!
OK, blessD, thank you. I stand corrected.


As a further word. I do encourage you and others to speak out. Some have encouraged me to do likewise. I personally spent nearly 30 years "in denial" about the program. But ... it was the many stories like yours, that forced me to reconsider everything. We all were affected by the abusive ways that were patterned from the top down. "Bullies reproduce bullies" even among the kindest of people, and this is the very reason so many like us have left. Sure we picked up some bad habits along the way, but ... stories like yours can really serve to challenge the rest of us.
01-31-2009 04:37 AM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by juliep View Post
Hi Everyone. Thanks for the support. I am not even going to dignify Don Rutledges post with an answer. Obviously, once an elder always an elder. You can take the elder out of the LC, but you cant take the LC out of the elder. Again - Enough Said!
juliep, I do know some very precious brothers who were LC elders at one time, while also being caring shepherds towards the saints. While they will now shamefully admit that at times they were "LC program zealots," it was the very same kinds of abuses that you speak of, that caused them to leave "the program."

In all these brothers, and I believe Hope included, what amount "the LC program" got into them over time, is now on their part being actively purged. We should thank the Lord for this. Some of these brothers can now be the most helpful of all to the rest of the saints also longing to depart "the LC program."

Please reconsider your prior statement. It really is too harsh.
01-31-2009 04:32 AM
YP0534
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
I was too caught up in our spiritual and devotional practices and meeting and service agendas to shepherd deserving and needy saints such as JulieP. I also failed to provide the admonition to other elders to strengthen this part of their service and thus I bear some indirect responsibility toward blessD.
I think most of us here can make a similar confession.

But I'm not sure how many of us actually would.

I appreciate the Lord's work in brother Hope.
01-30-2009 09:29 PM
finallyprettyokay
Re: The LCS Factor

blessD:

Thank you so much for knowing it was an accident. It was really late when I was writing -- I was probably too tired to write, but I did. Thank you.

fpo
01-30-2009 08:56 PM
blessD
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by finallyprettyokay View Post
Well, we clearly are not finished here yet. So much frustration.
...
blessd and Overflow -- it seems to me that bringing Don's need or not need to apologize to his family for LC days is just none of our business, unless he chooses to share that. I wouldn't feel like questioning his fathering is a fair argument in this situation. And it's a pretty low blow, too.
fpo
I beilieve I was accidentally put in the address here. I never brought out Don's need or not need to apologize to his family; Nor, did I question his fathering.

Again, think I was addressed on this one by accident.
01-30-2009 08:38 PM
blessD
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
FPO, thanks for this brief summation. I also believe all the accounts stand side by side, without contradiction. One side implies, "I never saw it, so it must not have happened." Another side says, "It happened to me, so it was rampant." The problem lies not with the eye-witness accounts, no! The problem lies with the conclusions made...
Several others have posted that no one implied "it was rampant". I just want to clarify that I never said "it was rampant". I am not on a side, except the side of truth. I never said, or insinuated "it was rampant". We were an extreme group in many ways (I use the past tense, since I am no longer there). Extremes of any kind have very bad side effects. For anyone that happened to stand strong and strike a balance in the midst of extremes, more power to ya'!
01-30-2009 07:46 PM
Terry
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by juliep View Post
Obviously, once an elder always an elder. You can take the elder out of the LC, but you cant take the LC out of the elder.
I disagree with this characterization. You cannot take the experiences away that former LC elders had. For me to believe the phrase "you can't take the LC out of the elder", then various former elders would not be outspoken as they have been. To say the LC is still in the elder, they would still be towing the party line. These former elders would remain silent because teachings such as "one accord", "deputy authority", and "God's government" just to name a few.
Before former elders are being characterized on this forum, take some time and consider what some of the former elders are doing now. When a former elder is speaking about the past, there needs to be an understanding what happened in the past isn't the present.

Terry
01-30-2009 07:15 PM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

Dear blessD, JulieP, Overflow and others who have become involved in our recent controversy,

I feel very bad for causing any pain to any of you. Please accept my heart felt apology. To the entire forum, in the future I will be slower to respond to any references to myself or to where I may have spent time.

I would like to make a few items as clear as I can. I never initiated contact with the abused regarding the incidents they suffered. I only referred to the incidents when others attempted to use the reports as proof cases to overthrow points I was making. I am still not clear how I could have handled that without examining the cases and trying to put things in some perspective.

I now realize I should have just taken any gotchas that other posters raised and been mindful of the real hurt that the abused had indeed suffered. I just endured and looked the other way a lot in the old lc time. I have promised myself not to be that way in the future, but now I must confess I have been wrong and I was reacting to some of my former passivity and not being understanding of others in the present situation.

As I stated in several posts, I can easily believe that blessD suffered abuse from some in leadership in the LC. I was also in leadership. In some ways, at that time, I was considered among the first among equals. Thus I have to consider what part did I play even if I was not present nor have any knowledge. Many of the men in the lc leadership did exercise an inordinate amount of control over many areas of the lives of the members. Being available to help or assist or council when asked is acceptable and desirable in a church leader. But exercising control over others and intervening in their personal lives is not acceptable. There were many incidents that I knew of where I should have adjusted the elder’s behavior and even protested or rebuked the brother, but I usually failed to act responsibly. Therefore blessD and JulieP for the abuse you suffered I do bear some responsibility even if indirectly and I do apologize for what you suffered.

If I had been proactive in resisting the tendencies to control others perhaps many things would have gone differently and these two young sisters could have received the love and nurturing they needed and deserved. I was not proactive and thus am to blame.

Furthermore, I apologize to blessD and JulieP for the failure of the local church leadership to provide them Christ like shepherding. Especially to JulieP I apologize that I was not there for you when you were going through a great trial in the Dallas area.

I was too caught up in our spiritual and devotional practices and meeting and service agendas to shepherd deserving and needy saints such as JulieP. I also failed to provide the admonition to other elders to strengthen this part of their service and thus I bear some indirect responsibility toward blessD.

May you all find peace and comfort in the sweet presence and care of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

Your brother in Christ Jesus,

Hope, Don Rutledge
01-30-2009 06:42 PM
juliep
Re: The LCS Factor

Hi Everyone. Thanks for the support. I am not even going to dignify Don Rutledges post with an answer. Obviously, once an elder always an elder. You can take the elder out of the LC, but you cant take the LC out of the elder. Again - Enough Said!
01-30-2009 03:06 PM
OBW
Re: The LCS Factor

Thanks. That does make things easier, although we may just be postponing the inevitable.
01-30-2009 03:02 PM
UntoHim
Re: The LCS Factor

Ok, I FINALLY figured out how to increase the number of Private Messages we can all receive... I have increased it to a maximum of 300 Messages (total). For the sake of bandwidth it would be best if everyone follows the instructions on how to download and save their messages and then clear their in and out boxes.
01-30-2009 02:27 PM
OBW
Re: The LCS Factor

Hope,

I am trying to send you a PM, but you box is once again full.
01-30-2009 01:04 PM
Terry
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
I know the elders in Austin were quick to correct situations where "young people" seemed to be stepping across lines. Young people are a unique "problem" in any setting. The LC's solution was to push them around.

I remember one young LC woman in Austin had a bachelorette party with her LC friends before her wedding. It was a modest LC version--the group went out for pizza. Someone got the idea of ordering a pitcher of wine coolers and the girls had a round of drinks. Scandalous? Well, if you are in the LC, yes. The elders got wind of it and the woman ended up standing up in a meeting, confessing, repenting and apologizing profusely. I don't know if she had been compelled to confess, but she had surely been rebuked by someone.

What a humiliating thing for a young bride to have to do. And over a pitcher of wine coolers! Someone forgot to note, I guess, that Jesus transformed water into wine for---you're way ahead of me---a wedding.

Perhaps the issue was that wine coolers are carbonated, and so not in keeping with the Biblical pattern. I don't know, I'm guessing here.

Thank goodness it wasn't a pitcher of margaritas.
Igzy, each locality handles things differently. One I began meeting with in the early ninties had brothers who smoked cigarettes. It was odd, but never an issue. Since these brothers were adults smoking outside a meeting hall, maybe young people and college age are held to a different standard?

Terry
01-30-2009 08:27 AM
Cal
Re: The LCS Factor

I know the elders in Austin were quick to correct situations where "young people" seemed to be stepping across lines. Young people are a unique "problem" in any setting. The LC's solution was to push them around.

I remember one young LC woman in Austin had a bachelorette party with her LC friends before her wedding. It was a modest LC version--the group went out for pizza. Someone got the idea of ordering a pitcher of wine coolers and the girls had a round of drinks. Scandalous? Well, if you are in the LC, yes. The elders got wind of it and the woman ended up standing up in a meeting, confessing, repenting and apologizing profusely. I don't know if she had been compelled to confess, but she had surely been rebuked by someone.

What a humiliating thing for a young bride to have to do. And over a pitcher of wine coolers! Someone forgot to note, I guess, that Jesus transformed water into wine for---you're way ahead of me---a wedding.

Perhaps the issue was that wine coolers are carbonated, and so not in keeping with the Biblical pattern. I don't know, I'm guessing here.

Thank goodness it wasn't a pitcher of margaritas.
01-30-2009 08:11 AM
bookworm
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
FPO, thanks for this brief summation. I also believe all the accounts stand side by side, without contradiction. One side implies, "I never saw it, so it must not have happened." Another side says, "It happened to me, so it was rampant." The problem lies not with the eye-witness accounts, no! The problem lies with the conclusions made.

Both sides must be allowed to provide honest testimony without extrapolation. No one was in all places at all times to see everything. The LC had its own version of "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly." Some, due to their own circumstances, saw more of one side than another. That's what the forum is for -- to present all sides. We all know that the LCS was not "all good," or "all bad," or "all ugly." So let's let each account stand on its own without inference to times and places we were not involved with.
I agree both sides need to be allowed to provide honest testimony without extrapolation. These sisters simply told the truth and apparently Hope drew the conclusion that they were accusing the LC of such occurrences being rampant. All they did was share the truth of their experiences and for that they were put down.
01-30-2009 07:31 AM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by finallyprettyokay View Post
These two situations stand side by side, and not in contradiction to each other. That's because in life everything doesn't fit nice and easy all the time, or even very often.

Don -- try again to hear the sisters. I understand the stories would indicate people you love/d. I know that's really hard. Just try to hear them. Saying it just didn't happen? Way below the belt.

blessd and Overflow -- it seems to me that bringing Don's need or not need to apologize to his family for LC days is just none of our business, unless he chooses to share that. I wouldn't feel like questioning his fathering is a fair argument in this situation. And it's a pretty low blow, too.
FPO, thanks for this brief summation. I also believe all the accounts stand side by side, without contradiction. One side implies, "I never saw it, so it must not have happened." Another side says, "It happened to me, so it was rampant." The problem lies not with the eye-witness accounts, no! The problem lies with the conclusions made.

Obviously, djohnson, the great instigator, is wrong in his assessment:
Quote:
Someone is lying. But what do women know anyway huh? They are only sisters and Hope after all was an elder. An elder wouldn't lie would they? I just can't imagine it. The leadership of the LCS is so pure and pristine. So incorruptible. Their track record is one of impeccable Christians ethics.
It's a shame that one has to throw gasoline on a fire and then attack another's credibility with such biting sarcasm, when his own credibility has so many question marks, and by his own admission has never had any first hand contact with any of the involved.

Both sides must be allowed to provide honest testimony without extrapolation. No one was in all places at all times to see everything. The LC had its own version of "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly." Some, due to their own circumstances, saw more of one side than another. That's what the forum is for -- to present all sides. We all know that the LCS was not "all good," or "all bad," or "all ugly." So let's let each account stand on its own without inference to times and places we were not involved with.
01-30-2009 12:37 AM
finallyprettyokay
Re: The LCS Factor

Well, we clearly are not finished here yet. So much frustration.

I once shared a very very painful and awful experience with a friend and his response suggested that perhaps I exaggerated the extent of the damaging actions, or maybe even somehow invented the memory. He had no part of the story, so he was not protecting himself in that sense. The incidents occured years before I met him, so there was no possible accusation. And yet he seemed to defend himself by trying to deny what had happened to me. I never did get it -- why he reacted that way.

What I can tell you is that it was so hurtful to me, and caused me to question trusting anyone ever again. Thanks to God's healing and help, I got past that feeling. But I am very very careful who I share things with. Even less serious things -- I filter my responses for safety pretty often.

So here we have two women who have shared with us several different aspects of experiences they had when younger, and some of the ramifications for them. And here we have a brother who has a big problem with the accounts of these sisters.

I'm not sure there is any resolving this situation -- my favorite response in tricky situations is "I Know, Cut the Baby in Half!". You know, Solomon. I have to tell you, hardly anyone ever thinks that is as funny or clever as I do. It kills me. I'm not sure there is a good way to resolve this -- a bipartisan solution, if you will.

Here's the two things I think:

1. Don -- no one has questioned your account that you were not in those meetings and have shared that you were, in fact, considered an elder that was a friend of the young people. (Leading to the logical step that there were some elders that were not). At least, I haven't read anyone saying that you were, and that you are lying about it. It seems we all are well believing you.

2. blessd and Overflow -- I speak for myself, and I think I speak for most everyone else here. I have no problem believing your accounts. And I have heart feelings for the things that happened to you both. Young people should have more gentle experiences from the people they love and trust and depend upon for guidance, stablity, etc.

These two situations stand side by side, and not in contradiction to each other. That's because in life everything doesn't fit nice and easy all the time, or even very often.

Don -- try again to hear the sisters. I understand the stories would indicate people you love/d. I know that's really hard. Just try to hear them. Saying it just didn't happen? Way below the belt.

blessd and Overflow -- it seems to me that bringing Don's need or not need to apologize to his family for LC days is just none of our business, unless he chooses to share that. I wouldn't feel like questioning his fathering is a fair argument in this situation. And it's a pretty low blow, too.

I mean, is there any way at all to cut this baby in half? I hope so. And in this little analogy of mine, both halves live happily, side by side and without contradiction.

Because in life everything doesn't fit nice and easy all the time, or even very often.

Bed time. Good sleep to everyone.

fpo
01-29-2009 11:49 PM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

Someone is lying. But what do women know anyway huh? They are only sisters and Hope after all was an elder. An elder wouldn't lie would they? I just can't imagine it. The leadership of the LCS is so pure and pristine. So incorruptible. Their track record is one of impeccable Christians ethics. :rollingeyes2:
01-29-2009 10:27 PM
bookworm
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
Dear Overflow,

It is a straw man argument "that so much happened in Dallas ... and yet you had NO idea was going on." There are two alleged instances that have been listed on the forum, not "so much." That two teenage girls had a very unpleasant experience with some older person or persons is not the question. The big 16 elder meeting over two teenagers kissing just could not have occurred in the way it was described. I would have known about it. Nothing comparable ever occurred. The second, an effort to back up the first, of 6-7 elders confronting a teenager did not happen. The actual facts of there being a confrontation was not in my knowledge nor any outcomes. But parents or some family friend or a church person being involved in a teenage love issue is not something unique to the local church, but the two big brew ha ha described are something I would have known about. What is crazy to me is the gullible acceptance of any negative tale. If I am going to participate on the forum, I cannot just let anything go that is so utterly dubious. "I was hurt" is no excuse for playing loose and free with slanderous reports. It is cruel to make such sweeping generalizations which defame many innocent persons.

I do regret needing to speak so plainly and bluntly. Thank you in advance for your understanding.

Don Rutledge
Hope,

I have not participated in this forum in quite a while and upon returning to read lately agree with blessD at what denial is apparent.

You need to concede that you definitely were sitting in the "catbird seat" in your experience in the LC, no matter what locality you happened to be perching. That said, it is appears that you have no ability for empathy with those who were not in such a situation. And as such you also feel no need for apologies to your family members for your LC experience. When you had your fill, you all were able to "fly away" and find another perch that better pleased you. That surely is the Lord's mercy on you and your family. You have certain gifts that have benefitted you and your family and it is nice to know that all of you continue to be content. Am sure all forum members are happy for you.
However, it would behoove you to exercise a little compassion and realize only a very slight percentage of people in the LC--elders included-- had such a privileged perspective and experience.
Accusing others of downright lying is not very becoming to you and really is out of character for someone so gifted as you.
01-29-2009 08:32 PM
blessD
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
Dear Overflow,
...I do regret needing to speak so plainly and bluntly. Thank you in advance for your understanding.

Don Rutledge
Hope, do you think you own this forum? I’ve been following your posts and it seems that if anyone disagrees with you, you try to shame them down and out. When they stop posting, you talk about them being biased. Then you pop out every so often (like you just did) and make another claim that there was something not right about what they posted or that it was outright false! Give me a break.

You have publically accused me of lying (or stretching the facts, perhaps with some intentional motive or as a ploy by others). I have no hidden agenda. I have moved on from the LC and happily so. I try to keep a balance in my life, but I am honest when looking at what happened to me and others. I never said it was all bad. I have some very endearing memories of people I lived with (7 different families in all and many more sisters). Someday, maybe I will share some of these very funny stories. However, I am not going to water down the ugly stuff that happened to me and caused long term issues.
01-29-2009 03:41 PM
blessD
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
Dear Overflow,.....It is a straw man argument "that so much happened in Dallas ... and yet you had NO idea was going on." There are two alleged instances that have been listed on the forum, not "so much." That two teenage girls had a very unpleasant experience with some older person or persons is not the question. The big 16 elder meeting over two teenagers kissing just could not have occurred in the way it was described. I would have known about it. Nothing comparable ever occurred. The second, an effort to back up the first, of 6-7 elders confronting a teenager did not happen. The actual facts of there being a confrontation was not in my knowledge nor any outcomes. But parents or some family friend or a church person being involved in a teenage love issue is not something unique to the local church, but the two big brew ha ha described are something I would have known about. What is crazy to me is the gullible acceptance of any negative tale. If I am going to participate on the forum, I cannot just let anything go that is so utterly dubious. "I was hurt" is no excuse for playing loose and free with slanderous reports. It is cruel to make such sweeping generalizations which defame many innocent persons...Don Rutledge
What the bazooka! I am mad at the denial and lies. At the same time I don't even think this is worthy of response it is so absurd. I'd like to get my mom and dad on here as witness, but I won't waste their time with the nonsense. Some people also deny the holocaust ever happened. Absolutely absurd.

Proverbs 17:1
Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.
Proverbs 18:6
A fool's lips bring him strife, and his mouth invites a beating.
Proverbs 20:3
It is to a man's honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.
Proverbs 22:10
Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife; quarrels and insults are ended.
Proverbs 26:21
As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
Proverbs 30:33
For as churning the milk produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife.
01-29-2009 11:29 AM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overflow View Post
Hope - So what are some of the apologies that you were able to offer your children about the whole LC mess and the effect it had on your family? It's crazy that so much happened in Dallas while you were an elder (with my dad who was also an elder) and yet you had NO idea was going on, isn't it!!! Crazy!

Dear Overflow,

I believe that you meant no ill will by what you wrote and addressed to me. But I did find it to be very offensive. Therefore I must address it. I mean no ill will toward you and hope a frank answer can clear the air.

Perhaps you have overstepped your bounds. Why do you assume I need to offer apologies to my children? Maybe our family's experience was not a "whole LC mess" with bad effects. My children have never blamed my wife or I for our time in the church in Dallas which is their only local church experience. I have caught heat for being too strict on homework getting done. My teenage sons did not appreciate our trip to the Smithsonian in DC. They claimed it was just something Sheryl and I wanted to do. These were the type of issues we had.

We all live within 15 minutes of each other. There is mutual respect and I am sure you would be touching a hornet's nest if you threw up statements accusing their parents. One son is still single. He has declared that there are just no women out there to compare with his mom and sister. Not true, but it is kind of flattering is a sort of obtuse way.

I cannot imagine us being any closer. Sometimes it is too close! They drop in all the time at any time. We love it but it does require that Sheryl and I stay flexible with our plans. We love them all unconditionally and they seemed to feel the same way towards us.

When we were first leaving the local church movement and I was very poor and starting a new business, I had a great opportunity with my business but not the funds to take advantage of it. My second son had just graduated from high school. He had worked a 30 hour a week job that year to save for college. In early June of that year we were having one of our frequent state of the family talks and I mentioned something about the opportunity. The next day he approached me and offered his college money. I declined saying what if I fail. He replied, dad you are the smartest person I know and I know you will succeed. Wow. Was I ever motivated!!! A word from a child can either crush or exhilarate a parent. I knew I had to succeed. That summer I was able to put the program in place and make enough profit to give him the money back on the day he was scheduled to leave for college. What a bond we have from that experience.

Don Rutledge
01-29-2009 03:48 AM
Suannehill
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Deej. That was my home. I knew you looked familiar.
No Ohio,
That was my house...and everyone that I knew's house!
Sue
01-28-2009 11:29 PM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

Found Him I greatly appreciate your stark honesty and I am certain the Lord will honor it.
01-28-2009 08:35 PM
Overflow
Re: The LCS Factor

Found Him - I'm so glad that your daughter has a mom like you and your husband has you as his wife. Your heart gives me hope! My mom unfortunately is an exact replica of the 'Stepford Wife' and has totally checked out on being an individual. I think she still buys into the LC teaching that she's under the authority of her husband in relationship with Jesus..so she just lets him treat her and the family in whatever way suits himself best and believes that by her being submissive to her husband, she doesn't have any responsibility! SO WRONG! It also doesn't work to dispute the thinking of a VIP like my dad so perhaps that part of the reason she checked out. I'll be praying for your family! Your words brought tears to my eyes...the bondage is awful.

Hope - So what are some of the apologies that you were able to offer your children about the whole LC mess and the effect it had on your family? It's crazy that so much happened in Dallas while you were an elder (with my dad who was also an elder) and yet you had NO idea was going on, isn't it!!! Crazy!
01-28-2009 05:55 PM
FoundHim
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
This not only happens to church kids, but others who also leave the LC. It happened to me. Thanks God he gently drew me back to himself, but it took years, more than I like to think about. Shipwrecked was exactly what I was.
Remaining LCers I'm sure take this condition in former members as evidence of God's displeasure with them, that they are indeed rebelling. But the fact is their consciences have been falsely educated by a systems of lies and half-truths that put the sufferer in an almost unresolvable spiritual dilemma.
Whatever devil is assigned to those former members has a cushy job. He just sits back and keeps pushing the "you-rebel-you-left-the-local-church" button, which is like money in the bank for him. It truly takes the power of the Holy Spirit to break that cycle. Psychology won't do it. Doctrine won't do it. God has to show you that the values of the local church (so-called "oneness," hierarchical authority, ministers of the ages, flows, "submission," mindlessness, etc) are not his values. He has to show you his true heart.
To tie this into the theme of this thread, yes, the LCS absolutely does lead to this condition of shipwreck.
Not sure where this is going to fit in ( both literally and figuratively). I am not used to the format of this forum yet, and because of many reasons, I just can't get that involved, but to Igzy's reply to Ohio regarding the shipwreck of saints I would like to add a word.

My daughter's middle name is "shipwreck". As you think of that you can imagine a boat out to sea, lost, no direction, just floating aimlessly among the waves.

My heart grieves daily as I see her left in the shadow of all the teachings, laws, twisted teachings, condemnation and just plain wrong thinking etc. she got in being raised in the LC. Her Dad, my husband was an elder. A good one. But we live now with the result of her complete confusion and failing trust in the God of Heaven. My husband cannot help her, for he is still stuck in the mud of the whole thing.

After "leaving" the LC ( she never really has "left") she is confused, discouraged, goes through extreme bouts with depression. I say she never left because in her young mind, she still thinks it is "God's best" but because of all her failures, unable to keep up, and anger, she attends no meetings. She cannot attend other Christian gatherings as well. She has actually lost her heart to even do so. She is caught up in the "good" world - no drugs or terrible sins, but she has nonetheless lost her way.

She recently told us "I have no place to go. I don't belong in the church. I don't belong anywhere". This was like a knife in my being, for I left many years ago and have seen the terrible damage done to her at the Full Time Training. She has never been the same. How many can relate to this?

Because of Satan's lies my husband cannot bring himself to admit the failures in the LC. How can he help my daughter if he himself is still wrapped in the "Vision".

Your words Igzy promted my writing for you said something to the effect that God wants to heal our families. I pray that He wants to heal ours. I am weary in this battle, and for all of the hurt ones out there, shipwreck or having the blessing of moving on - may He bring us all into the Peace that is only from Him.

"Is anything too hard for the Lord?". Frankly I am beginning to wonder. Forgive my unbelief Lord.
01-28-2009 10:21 AM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

Dear Sister Overflow,

I love your moniker.

I am sorry you have had difficulties. I always admired your parents and still hold them in high esteem. I can clearly recall how your Dad's eyes sparkled when he referred to his daughters. He seemed like a much better dad than I and helped me through some of our teenage problems when the parent is at a loss for what exactly to do.

I did not just push aside my LSM materials but spent a lot of time from 1984 through 1991 reconsidering everything. By 1989 I had no way to continue my association with them. My children were pretty much in the middle of my wife's and my search. They were at the table and in the living room when we were discussing these matters with each other and with others. At one point, my eldest son admonished me to stop examining the problems of the past and move on with the future.

My children pretty much know the good, the bad and the ugly regarding the LSM etc. We all get along fine and live within 15 minutes of each other. We help them and they help us. We all try to be there for each other. The LSM and the past is no issue. Would I have done things differently? Is not hind sight great? Did I make many mistakes as a parent? Do bears live in the woods?

In Christ Jesus,

Hope, Don Rutledge
01-27-2009 08:50 PM
Overflow
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
In considering your post, much detox was preceeded with bouts of depression? I don't agree being an LC elder can translate to leadership in another church. I believe many of these elders were appointed based on their gifts. Some initially balked and had to be talked into accepting the responsibility. If these elders truly wanted a leadership capacity, wouldn't they had remained with the LSM fellowship?

Terry
In my experience, VIPs as I labeled them previously, which the LC is brilliant at raising up find a way to wiggle closely to those in high power as to find a seat for themselves in the hierarchy. Lately I'm wondering if VIPs are better termed Narcissistic! As I recall, I was in high school when we moved states and detached from the LC. I give all glory to God for this! A person like my dad is NEVER wrong! Thankfully, the LC was a good distance and my dad had determined that we'd be better suited elsewhere (although still confused because NEVER did my dad denounce the LC...NEVER...it was a "good" church...someone in leadership made a mistake and that was sad to my dad but that was the extent of it (later I realized this was in reference to Lee's son).

After leaving the LC...a freshman in high school in 1991, I was shocked that we began to go to a "denomination." (Still believing that the LC was the only way). During the service, dad sat and read his own scripture lesson (as if Mr. VIP didn't have something to gain from the pastor. He then would polk fun of the pastor the entire way home from church. As my sisters and I recount growing up we felt out of place and awkward for a LONG time! NEVER did my dad have us work through what was wrong with the LC....because he was devout to it even after leaving. If one of us dared touch one of his Lee books...WATCH OUT! Especially my mom...he would let her have it! (Still to this day --- he will wiggle around a conversation to get out of denouncing it?!? Weird to me when I see the heartache the involvement had on our family and extended family (which my dad lead to getting involved as well and they're still involved and REALLY MESSED UP!!! Like CRAZY MESSED UP ---the three kids---my cousins could be on a messy Jerry Springer show--- SO SAD!!)

A few years later, a new church started, a fellowship style church. Dad rubbed noses with the head people quickly...you may think that these Narcissistic people are balking at the idea of leadership, but I think you haven't been the neglected and abused child of an "elder" from the LC or you would definitely think differently. My husband has been around long enough that he could sincerely concur that my dad has a way of making himself look like the most humble person in the world and yet I can assure you it is a complete and TOTAL ACT!

With that said, HOPE, I find it shocking that you could just push your books aside and not seek out to find truth from lie or LSM material from the BIBLE! What do you think about the vision and the truth? One of my deepest hurts in my relationship with my father is that his loyalty was/is to a man and not to as DJ commented, his family which is most definitely his mission field as a believer! Without authenticity and vulnerability in confession, I don't think I'll ever desire to trust him again. I know that none of us can be right all the time, (when my kids mess up, my first response is always, "there's only one person that lived a perfect life sweetie") but when we mess up and fail our families, I think the best way to start to find healing is confession....not just on your knees...but also to those that have been hurt. And there's no better way to know how to confess then by seeking out how you've failed...how did you confess to your family for leading them astray!? What biblical truths did you help them relearn?!

In my walk with the Lord, often my current teaching has to be studied further because of a distorted upbringing in teaching. I thank God that 1. I am no longer involved in living the lie of coming from a "perfect family." 2. God is continually assuring me that his love for me is nothing like the love my earthly father showed me. 3. I should purpose to never dishonor my role as "mother" to my children as I reflect God! 4. When I do mess up, be quick to apologize....sincerely and completely! 5. I will forever need my Savior and cherish His Eternal LOVE!
01-23-2009 07:39 PM
Terry
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post

Third, many members of ones family may already be saved and so they are the church. To neglect them for "the church" undermines their existing spiritual position in God's family. And if they are not saved then they are the best missionary field for the parents.
djohnson, this is so true. We as parents bring children into this world. The are under our care for a good 20 years. Our children are the best missionary field for parents. Day after day parents can nurture their children with the hope one day these children will accept Jesus Christ as their savior.

Terry
01-22-2009 01:45 PM
Terry
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post

Regarding djohnson's initial observations of those growing up in the LC, and its unhealthy focus on the ministry, eventually facing what he called "social issues"; I believe I made the observation, and will repeat it because it bears repeating, that the young ones I observed leaving the family umbrella do not go to christianity. They see the hypocrisy in the "program", as Ohio put it, but have imbibed on a steady diet of invective against what is termed "fallen christianity", and so when they depart the compulsive religious environment in the parent's house they simply drift (or run) into the world. They are raised in the "LC or nothing" mindset, and when they reject the controlling environment of the LC system, they have no spiritual path readily available.
Aron, I read what you're saying, but ultimately isn't it a matter of will? Sure being brought up in the local churches, I heard all about "fallen christianity". It was likened to "prosperity theology". What I discovered was completely different. There are Christians not meeting with the local churches burning for Christ. If a brother or sister wants to press on, they need to seek fellowship outside the lc's if they're not willing to endure "hypocrisy in the program".
To say the "LC or nothing", isn't that saying that we were baptized in the LC and not in Christ? It was Christ who was crucified for us and whose name we were baptized in. Christians should not be rejected because they're not part of a specific fellowship.

Terry
01-22-2009 09:53 AM
countmeworthy
Re: The LCS Factor

Loved your post Ohio! Thank You for sharing your insights. They were right on 'the money'.

[QUOTE=Ohio;5379]
Quote:
My thinking always centered on the promises of being "God's best."

If we really were what we were told, then we should be the most blessed people on earth, yet we also will be the ones most attacked by God's enemy.
I think what happened and still happens in Christendom including the LSM/LC..is they focus on the 'fear of the attack by God's enemy'..almost as if it's greater than God's blessings which is not.

One of my favorite accounts of the NT is when Paul & Silas are bound up in the prison dungeon. Talk about being attacked and persecuted!! Here they were bloodied, stinky, their bodies probably filled with knats and flies and who knows what else..and they're chained up against a wall.

Now THAT'S an attack of the enemy for sure!!! Yet instead of murmurring and grumbling in their pain..(& they might have initially until they came to their senses..) they began to PRAISE GOD..by Honoring Him through their singing and Praises, the Angel of the Lord released them from the enemy's hands.

I can testify, personally, I am who I am today because of my Praises unto the Lord...while I was suffering. Yes, I did and do ask for Help but once I have made my request be made known unto God, I give Him Thanks for listening to the Words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart.

It is a work of progress. It took time to build up my Faith to where it is today but I haven't attained the goal, the prize yet. I'm still running the race with endurance.

Quote:
I woefully had to admit that the enemy was far more successful than God's blessing. How could this be?
Too much focus on the power of the attacks...but also wrong teachings that affected us.

Quote:
As I stepped away from the LC's to reevaluate my positions on a myriad of topics, was forced to admit that zealousness, consecration to "Christ and the church," and oneness with the ministry did little to help my family or others.
Yep...wrong teachings.


Quote:
Looking back over my history, the blessing seemed to come from obedience to the Lord, and cooperation with His Spirit, and not from long hours of service.
Now you got it brother Ohio !!! Now what a blessing to come to that conclusion! I bet that's a burden and load off your shoulders!

Quote:
Somewhere along the line, the "family of God" got replaced by the "army of God." Families suffered. Mine did. Others did also. The ones who did survive in the churchlife had a healthy sequence of Christ first, then family, then church. Those, like me, who put "Christ and the church" first, and family last, often ended up with neither Christ nor family
.

You know, I've never married...although there have a couple of opporturnities but the Spirit in me gave me no peace no matter how in love I was!!

I am very content..very happy, very blessed and with that I have a sense of enormous and joyous responsibility to pray for the Body of Christ. People who are married with children have responsiblities we single people do not.

I hope the people who are single will pray for the married people..especially those with children. May God continue to strengthen you Ohio..you and your family..bless you with the Peace of God beyond understanding..supply all of your financial needs..grant you the desires of your heart as you delight In HIM...shield you and Protect you in Christ Jesus.
01-22-2009 09:07 AM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

Witness Lee in this fanaticism presented people with a false dichotomy: family or church and even preached: "If you take care of the church God will take care of your family." Proven to be false with empirical evidence even within his own family he still continued to beat on this drum.

There are several reasons why this is unhealthy and damaging. Firstly it undermines parental authority and replaces the legitimate parents with the leaders and ultimately Lee as the Parent. Second it emasculates men who instead of having backbone and a sense of their own manhood merge their wills into the collective will controlled by Lee and his closest associates. Third, many members of ones family may already be saved and so they are the church. To neglect them for "the church" undermines their existing spiritual position in God's family. And if they are not saved then they are the best missionary field for the parents. And fourth because it flies in the face of biblical principles and empirical evidence it messes with one's head i.e. the fact that it sounds like nails running along the blackboard and is suppressed can be very detrimental to the psyche.
01-22-2009 08:38 AM
YP0534
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Whatever devil is assigned to those former members has a cushy job. He just sits back and keeps pushing the "you-rebel-you-left-the-local-church" button, which is like money in the bank for him. It truly takes the power of the Holy Spirit to break that cycle.
Funny thing is, he can push that same button (or at least one very close on the same panel) even when you DIDN'T leave but got evicted! I heard that same whisper in my ear for YEARS and his argument was that I didn't fight hard enough to stay...
01-22-2009 07:53 AM
Cal
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Shepherding saints and raising children have many similarities. When "the program" comes first in your life, along with allegiances to headquarters, people tend to know it. They're not stupid. I was, however. Somewhere along the line, the "family of God" got replaced by the "army of God." Families suffered. Mine did. Others did also. The ones who did survive in the churchlife had a healthy sequence of Christ first, then family, then church. Those, like me, who put "Christ and the church" first, and family last, often ended up with neither Christ nor family. Christ and the family both being replaced with endless service in the church trying to be a faithful brother.
Well written, Ohio. This says it all. I pray the Lord heals your family. He is able and he wants to.
01-22-2009 07:40 AM
Cal
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
...the young ones I observed leaving the family umbrella do not go to christianity. They see the hypocrisy in the "program", as Ohio put it, but have imbibed on a steady diet of invective against what is termed "fallen christianity", and so when they depart the compulsive religious environment in the parent's house they simply drift (or run) into the world. They are raised in the "LC or nothing" mindset, and when they reject the controlling environment of the LC system, they have no spiritual path readily available. When pressed into a corner they will acknowledge Christ, as they genuinely received Him as Lord, but today they have no way to go on. Spiritually they are shipwrecked. I have seen this happen so often that I would make this generalization.
This not only happens to church kids, but others who also leave the LC. It happened to me. Thanks God he gently drew me back to himself, but it took years, more than I like to think about. Shipwrecked was exactly what I was.

Remaining LCers I'm sure take this condition in former members as evidence of God's displeasure with them, that they are indeed rebelling. But the fact is their consciences have been falsely educated by a systems of lies and half-truths that put the sufferer in an almost unresolvable spiritual dilemma.

Whatever devil is assigned to those former members has a cushy job. He just sits back and keeps pushing the "you-rebel-you-left-the-local-church" button, which is like money in the bank for him. It truly takes the power of the Holy Spirit to break that cycle. Psychology won't do it. Doctrine won't do it. God has to show you that the values of the local church (so-called "oneness," hierarchical authority, ministers of the ages, flows, "submission," mindlessness, etc) are not his values. He has to show you his true heart.

To tie this into the theme of this thread, yes, the LCS absolutely does lead to this condition of shipwreck.
01-22-2009 07:26 AM
Cal
Re: Point of Clarification

Quote:
Originally Posted by YP0534 View Post
djohnson is clearly right that the comment about "detoxing" and "counseling" was not his

djohnson only said that Hope never really left the Local Church

You are right. My apologies, dj. I mixed you up with Overflow.
01-22-2009 06:35 AM
aron
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
When "the program" comes first in your life, along with allegiances to headquarters, people tend to know it.

... Somewhere along the line, the "family of God" got replaced by the "army of God."

Those ... who put "Christ and the church" first, and family last, often ended up with neither Christ nor family. Christ and the family both being replaced with endless service in the church
The ministry was initially seen as a vehicle to serve God by serving His people. Eventually the ministry became a stand-in for God. Eventually abiding in Christ got replaced by being one with the ministry. But in actuality the ministry is represented by sinners like myself. Only God is perfect. So to protect the ministry-centric approach we then create an "image" that must be upheld at all cost, even at the cost of truth, life, spiritual connectedness, relationships, our consciences, our families, etc.

Regarding djohnson's initial observations of those growing up in the LC, and its unhealthy focus on the ministry, eventually facing what he called "social issues"; I believe I made the observation, and will repeat it because it bears repeating, that the young ones I observed leaving the family umbrella do not go to christianity. They see the hypocrisy in the "program", as Ohio put it, but have imbibed on a steady diet of invective against what is termed "fallen christianity", and so when they depart the compulsive religious environment in the parent's house they simply drift (or run) into the world. They are raised in the "LC or nothing" mindset, and when they reject the controlling environment of the LC system, they have no spiritual path readily available. When pressed into a corner they will acknowledge Christ, as they genuinely received Him as Lord, but today they have no way to go on. Spiritually they are shipwrecked. I have seen this happen so often that I would make this generalization.
01-22-2009 05:58 AM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post

May I suggest we try to steer this thread back to the original question put forth here?
Quote:
I have learned that among those who grew up in the LCS many face social issues. My question is: what role, if any, do you think the LCS played in the development of these behaviors?
Until my departure several years ago, I long had wondered why so few families survived the LC intact. My thinking always centered on the promises of being "God's best." If we really were what we were told, then we should be the most blessed people on earth, yet we also will be the ones most attacked by God's enemy. So I thought. Since I considered answers to prayer and the condition of one's family to be among the top indicators (and not wealth or worldly success) that one is blessed by God, I woefully had to admit that the enemy was far more successful than God's blessing. How could this be?

As I stepped away from the LC's to reevaluate my positions on a myriad of topics, (prompted by the pending "civil war" over publications,) I was forced to admit that zealousness, consecration to "Christ and the church," and oneness with the ministry did little to help my family or others. The line "how can you care for your house, while God's house lies waste," stirred such guilt within, and ... I had heard so many promises that "you care for God's house, and He will care for your house." It never seemed to work out that way, however. Looking back over my history, the blessing seemed to come from obedience to the Lord, and cooperation with His Spirit, and not from long hours of service.

Shepherding saints and raising children have many similarities. When "the program" comes first in your life, along with allegiances to headquarters, people tend to know it. They're not stupid. I was, however. Somewhere along the line, the "family of God" got replaced by the "army of God." Families suffered. Mine did. Others did also. The ones who did survive in the churchlife had a healthy sequence of Christ first, then family, then church. Those, like me, who put "Christ and the church" first, and family last, often ended up with neither Christ nor family. Christ and the family both being replaced with endless service in the church trying to be a faithful brother.
01-21-2009 08:58 PM
UntoHim
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
I have learned that among those who grew up in the LCS many face social issues. Some that I am familiar with are: alcoholism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, divorce, paying for sex i.e. engaging in services of prostitutes, infidelity, porn addiction.
My guess is that once the hypocrisy of the leaders became well known something "snapped" in a lot of the youth. A subculture that was restricting them thus became a culprit in their lustful pursuits. This dynamic coupled with the mainstream media bombardment gave license for their behavior.
My question is: what role, if any, do you think the LCS played in the development of these behaviors?
May I suggest we try to steer this thread back to the original question put forth here?

I have 30+(+!) years of experience (in and out) with the Local Church, and it it is my observation that "many" (as compared to just a few) young people who grew up in the movement do indeed face social issues of various kinds and of varying degrees. Whether or not they face them to a greater degree then those of any other Christian group nobody can say. All the problems that djohnson has listed here are extremely common in general society, and are much more common among Christians then we would probably care to admit. I do think his proposition, or "guess" as he says, that "something snapped" in a lot of the youth is a pretty big leap of speculation here, but his guess is just as good as ours... I guess

So, what roll did the Local Church culture/religion/system play in all this? I would ad (along with those who grew up in the LC), the large number of young people that came into the LC while in their teen years (like me)

In my opinion there is no doubt that young minds and hearts get confused when they are constantly bombarded with notions that the group they are in are "God's move on earth", "THE Lord's Recovery", "God's eternal purpose", and then they see that their parents/relatives/leaders aren't quite the "God-men" that they claim to be, then it can have a detrimental affect. How much of an affect - How big of an affect?? Well, that's what this forum is all about ya'all.... let's here it.
01-21-2009 08:52 PM
Terry
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overflow View Post
After leaving a system of confused scripture, legalistic focus and egocentric belief of being God's only saving grace....I have issues with believing that an LC elder could healthily step into the leadership of another church without serious counseling and detoxing!
In considering your post, much detox was preceeded with bouts of depression? I don't agree being an LC elder can translate to leadership in another church. I believe many of these elders were appointed based on their gifts. Some initially balked and had to be talked into accepting the responsibility. If these elders truly wanted a leadership capacity, wouldn't they had remained with the LSM fellowship?

Terry
01-21-2009 05:40 PM
YP0534
Point of Clarification

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overflow View Post
After leaving a system of confused scripture, legalistic focus and egocentric belief of being God's only saving grace....I have issues with believing that an LC elder could healthily step into the leadership of another church without serious counseling and detoxing! HOPE how did you transition away/search out the deception from truth that was ingrained in you during your time with LC!?!?
Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
Like most former elders of the LCS it is apparent that Hope has never left it in mind and heart and probably not bodily if his church in Raleigh is anything like the other LCS spin offs.

The argument that you can't paint everything with a broad brush is frivilous. A mere red herring. Everybody with any degree of intellegeince knows that a system like LCS will contain both good and bad elements. What Hope is denying is that certain things took place in the place where he was. Either Hope is lying or those reporting it are lying. Or Hope is claiming ignorance of the events in question. And if he did not know they took place that does not = that they did not take place only that he was ignorant of it. But knowing the track record the LCS and its leaders can anyone really think that such abuse of the young is outside the realm of the very possible nay the very probable?
djohnson is clearly right that the comment about "detoxing" and "counseling" was not his

djohnson only said that Hope never really left the Local Church
01-21-2009 05:15 PM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
The way I read is that you started out by saying Hope needed to be detoxed or put through therapy before he could lead another Christian group. Your evidence was that he had started something that was pretty much the same as what he had left. But you didn't point out how it was the same. My point was that some things of the LC, though possibly not according to your or my taste, are more or less benign. What is not benign is their authority model. The root of all the LC's problems stem from that.

So my point is that if Don started a church in Raleigh with all the benign practices of the LC (pray-reading, fist-pumping testimonies, etc, etc), but without the sick authority model (Ministry and Ground) then though his group might in some ways look very much like an apple which didn't fall far from the tree, in fact it would be something very different.

I know Don has discarded the LSM's view of "The Ministry," and though I'm less clear on his views of locality, I know he doesn't make an issue of it (at least here) nor delude himself into thinking everyone in Raleigh should be meeting where he meets.

So where does that leave your comments about Don?
Hi, Igzy

I cannot recall any fist-pumping testimonies in Raleigh or Durham. But again that was never my style. We are pretty laid back and most testimonies are given while remaining seated. Since we have only one larger all together meeting in a week the format of the majority of the gatherings is very informal and usually in various homes. Thus this atmosphere carries over to the corporate meeting. Since 80+% has never been to a local church training or to a local church meeting, we really do not know how to carry out the format from there. (You or dJohnson would need to come and show us how to do it.) I once had business in San Antonio and took a young associate who also met with us. While there we went up to Austin and visited the Sunday morning meeting. My young brother-colleague was hilarious to watch. He had never seen anything like it. You would have thought he had gone to Mars.

You former Texas local church folks have to realize that North Carolina is very laid back. The Andy Griffin show is not far off. In fact we are so informal, you community church folks may find us too slow and unorganized. The meeting time is in fact more of an arrival time. There is lots of milling around and greetings and hugs and laughing. Sometimes 20 minutes will pass before anything gets started that includes everybody. I know it would drive all you more programmed believers a little batty. It does me too at times but I just fit into what the saints prefer.

My understanding of locality is simply versus a federation with a headquarters. It is that Christ is the Head of the Body practically not by way of the universal church but locally. Christ desires to shine through the lampstand into the darkness of the lost world locally versus some world wide ministry. My understanding of the terms in the New Testament of the church in _______ (a city) has to do first with the mission of the church which comes from the Greek word more accurately translated Assembly. It was the assembly of the citizens of a city state who assembled to carry out the interests of the city. Citizen responsibility and the essential recognition of Christ as the Head is the primary characteristic of a local assembly. When we say the church in Raleigh or the church in Durham, we have our responsibility as members of Christ body in our mind. We are not thinking "we are it."

Oneness of the Body of Christ is not the focus of locality at all. Practical oneness is a by-product of endeavoring to keep the oneness of the Spirit. Oneness results from not showing preference for particular members but bestowing more abundant honor on the uncomely members. It comes from the strong bearing the weaknesses of those without strength.

Oneness means we receive and accept all whom the Lord has received. Oneness means not passing judgment on other believers for some doubtful opinion or practice.

Claiming something or other called "the ground" is merely children playing. Practicing all that the church in ______ implies is a high calling. Lord have mercy on us. How we have failed so many times.

A believer in Christ Jesus,

Hope, Don Rutledge
01-21-2009 04:15 PM
countmeworthy
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
So my point is that if Don started a church in Raleigh with all the benign practices of the LC (pray-reading, fist-pumping testimonies, etc, etc), but without the sick authority model (Ministry and Ground) then though his group might in some ways look very much like an apple which didn't fall far from the tree, in fact it would be something very different.
Excellent point there Igzy my friend.
01-21-2009 04:12 PM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

Hope I think item one on your list might have been a good starting point!
01-21-2009 04:10 PM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

Igzy I don't recall saying Hope had to detox or go through therapy I think that was a new poster a while back who suggested that. Nor do I know how old Hope is. I am addressing a very simple issue: those (not just Hope) who say they have left the LCS and in actuality have not i.e. the gap between what they say they have done and what they have in fact done.
01-21-2009 03:07 PM
Cal
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
countmeworhty I agree that it must be difficult which is why I continue to ask the question: knowing it is so difficult why would a leader (or anyone) who sincerely wants to leave the LCS simply duplicate it down the street? Would that not add to the difficulty?
What was toxic that Don duplicated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
The issue I am trying to address is those who claim to have left the LCS and yet in fact remain "there" for all intent and purposes.
This is worth addressing. But you go too far by accusing Don of being one of these people. At the very least you should broach the issue with a little more sensitivity, if only because Don is probably your senior. (Sorry, Don.)
01-21-2009 03:05 PM
Cal
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
Igzy initially I was addressing Hope but I think the conversation has since expanded.
The way I read is that you started out by saying Hope needed to be detoxed or put through therapy before he could lead another Christian group. Your evidence was that he had started something that was pretty much the same as what he had left. But you didn't point out how it was the same. My point was that some things of the LC, though possibly not according to your or my taste, are more or less benign. What is not benign is their authority model. The root of all the LC's problems stem from that.

So my point is that if Don started a church in Raleigh with all the benign practices of the LC (pray-reading, fist-pumping testimonies, etc, etc), but without the sick authority model (Ministry and Ground) then though his group might in some ways look very much like an apple which didn't fall far from the tree, in fact it would be something very different.

I know Don has discarded the LSM's view of "The Ministry," and though I'm less clear on his views of locality, I know he doesn't make an issue of it (at least here) nor delude himself into thinking everyone in Raleigh should be meeting where he meets.

So where does that leave your comments about Don?
01-21-2009 02:57 PM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

dJ,

Got it. Just as I always suspected. Nothing and no associations can remain that can be identified with the local churches and WL etc. A totally brand new look and culture is the goal for all former members .

1) Join an existing Christian group

2) Separate yourself from all former associates

3) Never use any terms from the old culture

4) Join officially a mainline or clearly identifiable traditional Christian group

5) All remnants of the old culture, that is local church, disappear.

You might consider the following verses:
1 Cor 4:2-4, But to me it is a very small thing that I should be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself . NASB

John 7:24, "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment." NASB

Fortunately, we live unto the Lord and Romans 14 applies to myself and to all former members. Rom 14:7-11, For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God. NASB

Hope, Don Rutledge
01-21-2009 12:48 PM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

countmeworhty I agree that it must be difficult which is why I continue to ask the question: knowing it is so difficult why would a leader (or anyone) who sincerely wants to leave the LCS simply duplicate it down the street? Would that not add to the difficulty?

Perhaps I could use another illustration: suppose I immigrant from India to the U.S.A. and declare that I really want to leave my Indian culture behind and become immersed in America. But when I arrive I move to an Indian community, I befriend other Indians, I don't learn English, I don't apply for citizenship, etc. In essence what have I done? Moved geography and nothing else. Is it a difficult process? Undoubtedly. But my way of going about leaving what I say I want to leave is not making any easier is it?
01-21-2009 12:14 PM
countmeworthy
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
The issue I am trying to address is those who claim to have left the LCS and yet in fact remain "there" for all intent and purposes.
This is exactly ~why~ these forums are helpful to many. There is a 'stronghold' in Lee's ministry to the extent when people leave, they are left with a lot of confusion in their thinking.

They don't want to dress, talk, act like they did but it's in them..to some extent even in me. It's hard for them to forget what Lee and to a smaller degree Nee wrote about this subject or that subject.

It's not easy to stop speaking the LC lingo for many.

Let me give you an example. I grew up as a Catholic. I grew making 'the sign of the cross'...In the Name of the Father, In the Name of the Son, and in the Name of the Holy Ghost.

(Most of us..never respected that 'prayer'. But we all still 'crossed ourselves'.)

Do you know how EASY it is for me to make the 'sign of the cross' even though I have not been a Catholic for 40 some years?

If you were raised as a Baptist, Mormon, Buddhist, making the sign of the cross is not in your blood! Seeing someone make it might even look 'foreign' to you.

The LC was never a non Christian cult...We believed & still believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We believe Jesus died and rose and because of His resurrection through confession of Faith and Repentence His Blood cleanses us and He lives in us through the Holy Spirit who is God. God lives in us. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We believe in the Bible. We read the Bible.

Why did I share that?? Because it goes to show, getting the religousness of doing things is not easy for any former LCr.

It is a process..and not an easy one...and for those who had been in the LC for umpteen years and in a leadership position to boot as Hope and others, it's even more difficult to shed off the 'old wineskin' and put on the NEW WINESKIN! But with GOD anything IS POSSIBLE!

Jesus is OUR SAVIOR..and behold HE makes all things New!
01-21-2009 11:27 AM
aron
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
Aron I appreciate your post but I thought Igzy was referring to the "ground of locality" doctrine in his post and not a general concept of ground as in a person having the "ground" to do this and that with others. In any event that was what I was addressing i.e. the doctrine of dirt.
You are right; I dragged my own little drum into the conversation and started beating it. The "smell and taste" test of LC-or-not is, for me, whether people are bossing others around, and telling them how to conduct their spiritual affairs, both individually and collectively. That is what I read into Igzy's reply to you, and why I referenced 1 Peter 5:3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
Igzy initially I was addressing Hope but I think the conversation has since expanded.
Well, perhaps Igzy & I took things beyond where you might have intended. But in reference to Hope, and what he has shared; I don't have any insight to the doings of his folks there in NC & his connections elsewhere. Perhaps you have sources "offline" which have given you concern. But I don't see any references in his writings that he holds the "ground of locality" as giving his fellowship the preeminence among all the fellowships of believers in his geographic region. I am not very interested in the "doctrine of dirt", pro- or con, so perhaps I have waded into waters of which I am not suited.

But I was under the LC system for some years, and saw the spiritual paralysis, even rigor-mortis, resulting from the authority model which is invested into the ground of locality. I often sense in your postings some indignation at the re-chaining of the children of God, who after being freed from sin became entangled again in the yoke of deceptive doctrine. I agree, and share this indignation, but I don't see where Hope is keeping folks in this stronghold; rather I see him trying to emerge from it. In this I have an outsider's view, because I don't read every post nor remember everything I've read. So if my comments are unwarranted here please forgive me for intruding where I don't have "ground" to do so.
01-21-2009 10:15 AM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

Aron I appreciate your post but I thought Igzy was referring to the "ground of locality" doctrine in his post and not a general concept of ground as in a person having the "ground" to do this and that with others. In any event that was what I was addressing i.e. the doctrine of dirt.

Igzy initially I was addressing Hope but I think the conversation has since expanded.
01-21-2009 10:05 AM
aron
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Depends on the look, smell and act you are talking about.

The problem is the authority model--"The Ministry" and "The Ground." If you see or smell those then you've spotted a problem.
I agree. I really don't care what books people read, what songs they sing, how they sing them. Whether they pray in a sing-songy way, a chanting way, an "arms in the air with wiggly hands" way; on their knees, seated, or standing; to the Father, the Son, or the Holy Ghost/Spirit. What Bible they use, etc.

But if they think they have some "ground" to boss me around and tell me how to conduct my christian affairs, then that smell, look, and act becomes perverse. Other than that, and other than open sin, I don't see where I or anyone has the right to judge what the other servants of the Master are engaged in. Unless djohnson's sources have clear and specific info on the lording over believers (see 1 Peter 5:3) in what he refers to as LC-spinoffs, then he is engaging in supposition. Perhaps TC, and others, remain domineering as when they were Lee's lieutenants. Still, I would rather see case by case, specific instances, and especially patterns of abusive "shepherding", before I could assent to the idea that things have remained the same outside the LSM umbrella as before, when under it.

djohnson, I share your distaste for the dominion over the precious saints of God, and your abhorrence for the abusive systems. It is, to me, as as much an offence as it is to you. To counter this unfortunate trend, we can be steadfast in our holding forth the truth, such as little we have it, and be examples of the forbearance of God toward our fellow pilgrims and sojourners as they struggle back into the light of the Father.

djohnson, I recall your signature line saying, "My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ". I hope this joy extends to fellowship with all the believers. This fellowship may include reproving and remonstrating, but also might occasionally consist of rejoicing in the common faith of our fellows, in the process of turning from darkness to light. All of us believers are only partly in the light. We all have "ground" to cast stones at one another. Hopefully we have ground, as well, to encourage, strengthen, and support the journeys of our fellows as well.

Having said that, I always appreciate your posts. They are invariably bracing and refreshing to one who was in the "garlic room" for a long time. I appreciate your spirit, and I always sense you speaking for many who cannot speak, pressed down under the weight of silence.
01-21-2009 10:00 AM
Cal
Re: The LCS Factor

Dear dj,

In fairness, you weren't talking about the GLA, either. You were talking about Don Rutledge. Let's try to keep things straight.

And I probably would define "good Christian" pretty much the same way you do.
01-21-2009 09:39 AM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

I'm not sure how you are defining "good Christian" but either way that is not what I have been discussing. The issue I am trying to address is those who claim to have left the LCS and yet in fact remain "there" for all intent and purposes.

About "the ministry" and "the ground". Do you really believe for example that those in the GLA have rejected these notions? If anything "the ministry" now = Titus Chu and they embrace the doctrine of dirt as closely as they ever did.
01-21-2009 08:16 AM
Cal
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
OBW what you say is true: just because a group that splits off from the RC continue to look, smell and act like the RC doesn't mean all will. My analogy applies to those LCS spin offs that indeed do look, smell and act like the group they supposedly left.
Depends on the look, smell and act you are talking about. Some are good, some are bad. There are a lot of wonderful things about the LC folks. They are, by and large, very good Christians. This is part of their look, smell and act.

The bad stuff comes through their hierarchical and exclusive organizational model (although they would deny that it is either until doomsday), which may in part be fed by their somewhat impersonal connection with God (i.e. he is more a Commodity to them than a Person sometimes.)

The problem is not: No signs, no name, dorky clothing, testimonies, old hymns, odd terminology, calling, pray-reading, shouting, fist-shaking, going to conferences, having one cup, calling it the Lord's Table, sitting in circles, carrying black satchels, etc, etc, etc. All that stuff is part of their look, smell and act, and it doesn't mean much, really. It's just what is obvious.

The problem is the authority model--"The Ministry" and "The Ground." If you see or smell those then you've spotted a problem.
01-20-2009 06:01 PM
YP0534
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
There is a logical fallacy relating to erroneous analogies (I forget the fancy term). So just because you can refer to a RCC group that splits off but continues to look like the RCC, it does not mean that every group that splits off will look like the RCC, or whatever group they split off from. Analogies do not prove anything. They only help analyze reality to the extent that they actually match.
"Religious people who leave their sect build the same thing."

pfft

It's just an over-generalization.
http://ksuweb.kennesaw.edu/~shagin/l...is-overgen.htm
01-20-2009 05:24 PM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

I have seen it happen Ohio. And because you haven't only means you haven't.

About the LCS: I think the information I have provided in this forum speaks for itself. If it has not been accurate please feel free to point out what is erroneous.
01-20-2009 05:23 PM
YP0534
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Because of my upbringing I tend to punch those people in the mouth. Takes all kinds, I guess.
I wish you had been in my locality, back when, my friend...
01-20-2009 05:22 PM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

OBW what you say is true: just because a group that splits off from the RC continue to look, smell and act like the RC doesn't mean all will. My analogy applies to those LCS spin offs that indeed do look, smell and act like the group they supposedly left.
01-20-2009 05:04 PM
countmeworthy
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Analogies are only as good as the attempt to be analogous. In other words, if your analogy fits, then it may shed light on reality. But if it does not fit, it is useless. Just because you create an analogy that has a surface appearance of a match does make it accurate.

There is a logical fallacy relating to erroneous analogies (I forget the fancy term). So just because you can refer to a RCC group that splits off but continues to look like the RCC, it does not mean that every group that splits off will look like the RCC, or whatever group they split off from. Analogies do not prove anything. They only help analyze reality to the extent that they actually match.

And the creation of an analogy does not prove a match.

Mike
Mike,
I'm not sure if your comments here are in reference to my post or DJ's or both of ours.

So to clarify what I was trying to say:

In life, there are building blocks to imrove life. Henry Ford may have invented the car...we still drive cars but not the Model T. We don't criticize Henry Ford for the clunker he invented. We move on and keep trying to improve on something that has been of great benefit.

Nee, Lee and others...might have seen a different way to meet and worship the LORD other than attending a church service with the preacher at the pulpit. Thus the local churches...... For some, it worked. When it got stale or whatever...we left...

It is too bad the LC turned out to be an organization after all.

Nontheless, God is still GOOD..ALWAYS was..ALWAYS WILL BE!!!

Hope my comments make sense.
01-20-2009 04:45 PM
OBW
Re: The LCS Factor

Analogies are only as good as the attempt to be analogous. In other words, if your analogy fits, then it may shed light on reality. But if it does not fit, it is useless. Just because you create an analogy that has a surface appearance of a match does make it accurate.

There is a logical fallacy relating to erroneous analogies (I forget the fancy term). So just because you can refer to a RCC group that splits off but continues to look like the RCC, it does not mean that every group that splits off will look like the RCC, or whatever group they split off from. Analogies do not prove anything. They only help analyze reality to the extent that they actually match.

And the creation of an analogy does not prove a match.

Mike
01-20-2009 04:11 PM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
Ohio your analogy escapes me. Please allow me to offer one for your consideration:

A priest of the RC decides that he doesn't like what the pope is doing and he and a group within the larger congregation determine to move down the street (or better yet have a lawsuit over the property) and start their own thing. All else remains the same: practices, liturgy, doctrines, etc. (including him being a priest) except they switched from claiming the pope is the sole authority to a authority. Do you honestly expect me or anyone else to seriously believe that the priest left the RC lock, stock and barrel? Sorry but the credulity required for such a belief is beyond my capacity and I'm sure beyond that of many others.
djohnson, your analogy escapes me. Never saw it happen.

At least my analogy had practical application in the LC's. How about we address specifics rather than hypotheticals which don't apply.

For discussion purposes, roughly how many public meetings have you been to? Ever been to a leaders meeting? A prayer meeting? Ever start a church from scratch? Ever participate in the breaking of bread? How many different cities? How many saints have you talked to? Etc.
01-20-2009 03:35 PM
countmeworthy
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
A priest of the RC decides that he doesn't like what the pope is doing and he and a group within the larger congregation determine to move down the street (or better yet have a lawsuit over the property) and start their own thing. All else remains the same: practices, liturgy, doctrines, etc. (including him being a priest) except they switched from claiming the pope is the sole authority to a authority. Do you honestly expect me or anyone else to seriously believe that the priest left the RC lock, stock and barrel? Sorry but the credulity required for such a belief is beyond my capacity and I'm sure beyond that of many others.
That is EXACTLY what Martin Luther did when he separated himself with the Pope's teachings.

His followers are called Lutherans. If you've ever been to a Catholic mass and then to a Lutheran service or an Episcopalian service, you might think you're in a Catholic mass without the statues & the kneeling pews.

Not EVERYTHING about the LC was wrong. Unfortunately, too many LC leaders as elders did not study the Word and meditate on the WORD without Lee's 'blessings' and Lee's 'vision'.

That is why I think a lot of people affiliated with the LC are screwed up in the head. NOT ALL I emphasize...NOT ALL.

Forums like this one are very helpful for people to talk about their experiences and get help because only people in the LC know exactly what it was to be in the LC.... just as a former Catholic understands the RCC better than a Buddhist or Hindu does, if they were never in the RCC.

People here are trying to grow close to the LORD JESUS and read the scriptures in a FRESH LIVING way..and to fellowship and help one another. Our Thread of GOLD is CHRIST JESUS and the WORD of GOD...but our history also connects us.

Nothing wrong with 'keeping' the good and throwing out the bad!!

I think the gospel 'love' feasts were GREAT. For the most part, I enjoyed the testimonies after the messages when I was in the LC...so long as they weren't off the wall or out in left field which sometimes happened.

If the church where Hope meets and probably shepherds has gospel feasts, testimonies,...SO WHAT ??

What became a turn off for me...was when the testimonies started like this "Praise the Lord for Brother Lee'. 'Brother Lee is the up to date apostle of the age'.. :rollingeyes2:

I know not EVERYONE still dresses in the LC uniform and wears their hair the same way..but we did back in the day.

Now...the RcV is the bible they read...and not w/o checking the footnotes FIRST! If the Holy Spirit is showing them something in the scriptures but the footnotes say something else...then Lee is right not the Holy Spirit. And that's wrong!

A few years ago, I started examining certain subject matters like 'Outerdarkness', and more...I began to consider somethings the Scriptures were revealing to me, so I went to the RcV..and re-read what Lee said about it. Then I went to other sources and through research and prayer, the Lord revealed to me, Lee's view is WRONG.

Darkness is darkness and in GOD, there IS NO Darkness at all...not outer not inner...NONE...Zippo...Nada...

But this is not a topic I'm going to discuss. I was merely using it as an example to show people never QUESTIONED Lee's teachings and that is why there was poor leadership, poor eldership/shephards...'cause they took Lee's word without checking the scriptures thoroughly and asking the Holy Spirit to reveal the Word of God clearly as God sees it.

It's no wonder the Presence of God is not there.
01-20-2009 02:49 PM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

Ohio your analogy escapes me. Please allow me to offer one for your consideration:

A priest of the RC decides that he doesn't like what the pope is doing and he and a group within the larger congregation determine to move down the street (or better yet have a lawsuit over the property) and start their own thing. All else remains the same: practices, liturgy, doctrines, etc. (including him being a priest) except they switched from claiming the pope is the sole authority to a authority. Do you honestly expect me or anyone else to seriously believe that the priest left the RC lock, stock and barrel? Sorry but the credulity required for such a belief is beyond my capacity and I'm sure beyond that of many others.
01-20-2009 02:41 PM
Cal
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overflow View Post
Because of my upbringing, I tend to run from people that are strong in defensiveness.
Because of my upbringing I tend to punch those people in the mouth. Takes all kinds, I guess.
01-20-2009 01:55 PM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
Ohio & FPO I have no animus towards those in the LCS or those who left it. I merely question those who say they left it but appear to have merely duplicated it elsewhere. Surely you agree that leaving such a system in heart and mind is difficult even if one physically moves on to another church e.g. ABC Community Church. One would conclude that leaving it in heart and mind is even more difficult if one continues in a physical place that basically mimics what one supposedly left behind. A reasonable position don't you think?
djohnson, that's like assuming that no matter where I ever will meet ... I will still love good food. What's wrong with me? No matter how far I distance myself from the LC system, I still love potluck dinners. I can't help myself. I am just mimicing my old ways. I am the total opposite of a "picky eater." The LC made me this way. I can go thru the line and try 2 dozen different dishes without overflowing my plate. What can I do? I tried to leave the "love feasts" in heart and mind, but I can't do it. I am ruined forever.
01-20-2009 01:47 PM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overflow View Post

I've lurked here from time to time, but have never felt comfortable to type until now. Because of my upbringing, I tend to run from people that are strong in defensiveness.

I need humbleness, meekness and lots of forgiveness. Hope that makes sense?!?!
Overflow, that makes a lot of sense, and welcome to the forum!

I also lurked here for a while before posting, then I learned that the forum is a "great equalizer." Each of us is equipped the same -- each has a keyboard and an "off" switch. Hence, none of us needs to be intimidated by those "strong in defensiveness," and we have had plenty of those.
01-20-2009 01:41 PM
countmeworthy
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overflow View Post
After leaving a system of confused scripture, legalistic focus and egocentric belief of being God's only saving grace....I have issues with believing that an LC elder could healthily step into the leadership of another church without serious counseling and detoxing! HOPE how did you transition away/search out the deception from truth that was ingrained in you during your time with LC!?!?
Overflow,
Welcome as well.

I know you are asking Hope about how he detoxed (or detoxing still perhaps??)

But I'll share what has helped me...

Reading spiritual books that are not by Nee or Lee or those authors recommended by Lee.

For ME...Joyce Meyers helped me alot become 'normal'. I began to watch Christian TV. There are some very good teachers and some that are not good..

Most importantly, I focused on the Lord Jesus Christ and concentrated on what a scripture that spoke to me really meant. Getting the LC definition or attitude can be challenging...especially when it comes to the book of Ephesians which was something we devoured year after year while I was there.

I still call on the Name of the LORD...but I call on His Name with Respect, with Adoration, with Love. His Name is HOLY. His Name is Sanctified and we should NEVER, EVER take His Name lightly.

I also have a relationship with the HOLY SPIRIT. He is GOD and He is the VOICE of GOD and the Eternal Spirit of God. I LOVE the HOLY SPIRIT. I speak to the HOLY SPIRIT and ask for His Guidance and for His Counsel and His Leading. He leads us into the Paths of Righteousness. Righteousness is Christ Jesus Himself. Righteousness is GOD.

I have always known the Spirit, the Life Giving Spirit, the Holy Spirit lived in me but my relationship was pretty much with the Son Jesus Christ...not with the Holy Spirit per sae.

Once I began to learn more about the role of the Holy Spirit in the God Head, and I began to have a relationship with Him, talking to Him, Loving Him as much as I love the Son and the Father, my life totally changed from the inside..and BLESSINGS began to pour down on me. The Presence of GOD in my life intensified. It is something I cannot explain.

I also want to add...my understanding and relationship with the Holy Spirit began about 2 years ago. I am not the same person I was when I came on board the Nee, Lee forum on the other site in 2006.
I also have a relationship with the Father..the Creator of Heaven and Earth too. I will admit my relationship with getting to know the Father is more difficult for me than my relationship with The SON and the HOLY SPIRIT. But I'm working on my relationship with my Heavenly Father.

I do go to 'church' mainly for Worship..and to hear the WORD of God outside my house and outside the TV realm.

May the LORD heal you and strengthen your heart, your MIND, your Soul as He strengthens your spirit In Christ Jesus.
01-20-2009 12:46 PM
Overflow
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by finallyprettyokay View Post
Overflow wrote:

Hello Overflow. I don't think we have cyber-met. Welcome.

This is great, what you wrote. I would just add that how did any of us transition out of the deception from truth? Painfully, mostly. Speaking for myself, it was a mess inside of me. For years. Everyone has a different story on that --- one of the best parts of this forum is sharing how that worked for each of us. I'm just not so sure that it would be any harder (or easier) for someone that had been an elder. Maybe. Different issues, I guess. Detoxing is never easy.

Good to read from you, Overflow.

fpo

--
I'm sorry I haven't officially introduced myself. My dad is a former LC elder. He and HOPE are long time friends (with lapses in communication based merely on distance in residence).

Thanks for the welcome Finally Pretty Okay! I've lurked here from time to time, but have never felt comfortable to type until now. Because of my upbringing, I tend to run from people that are strong in defensiveness. From my experience there are certain people in this world that consider themselves VIPs (I think that the LC was GREAT at creating them). From my vantage point, VIPs are never wrong and despite all the reasoning, logic and heart presented to a VIP from the peanut gallery, VIPs are stuck being right! Because I've never seen a VIP (a person stuck being "right" at all cost) actually rethink and be willing to grow, I guess my faith is somewhat weak in feeling hope for those on this forum that continually defend the LC or any branch attached or detached.

And that's my reason for inquiring about the means to getting healthy after a lifetime of believing falsehoods about scripture and turning inward and depending on self or 'our spirit' instead of depending on Christ's strength, wisdom, peace, etc. All textbook problems associated with spending time in the LCS. I know there isn't an easy answer, especially if a person is still in denial (1). there ever was a problem and (2). that they were a part of the problem (regardless of the time spent outside of the system, for some reason I've yet to understand up to this point, there is a strange allegiance).

My constant prayer is that God will help me steer clear from ever being a VIP and help me to live as a servant. I'm constantly having to apologize to my children because being raised in such a legalistic, dictatorship household makes it harder for me to parent in a way that builds my kids up rather than builds myself up. I need humbleness, meekness and lots of forgiveness.

Hope that makes sense?!?!
01-20-2009 11:53 AM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

No animus just assumptions and accusations I suppose? How would you know if the assembly in Raleigh or Durham NC is a duplication of the LCS? How would your know if they are basically mimicking what was supposedly left behind? My reasonable position is you must have some personal agenda and perhaps a little animus for some reason. Maybe it is just your personality?

Otherwise please spell out the mimicking and duplicating.
01-20-2009 11:25 AM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

Ohio & FPO I have no animus towards those in the LCS or those who left it. I merely question those who say they left it but appear to have merely duplicated it elsewhere. Surely you agree that leaving such a system in heart and mind is difficult even if one physically moves on to another church e.g. ABC Community Church. One would conclude that leaving it in heart and mind is even more difficult if one continues in a physical place that basically mimics what one supposedly left behind. A reasonable position don't you think?
01-20-2009 11:05 AM
Overflow
Re: The LCS Factor

Thanks HOPE for your explanation. I guess I did assume that you were in leadership based on you speaking at guest local churches. I have other questions but I'll have to think a bit more before I speak!

Also "the only saving grace" is in reference to the view that the original LCers took towards other believers....in truth, the only way of course to eternal life is through Jesus' righteousness, shed blood and love for his lost children...nothing to do with Witness Lee. I apologize, I don't have all the LC (past, present, separated group lingo figured out).
01-20-2009 09:50 AM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overflow View Post
After leaving a system of confused scripture, legalistic focus and egocentric belief of being God's only saving grace....I have issues with believing that an LC elder could healthily step into the leadership of another church without serious counseling and detoxing! HOPE how did you transition away/search out the deception from truth that was ingrained in you during your time with LC!?!?
Greetings Overflow,

I agree with you. If one of the dear brothers from the past suddenly began to meet with us, I would love him and treat him with kindness and have the best of hope for him. But he would need to learn and relearn many things before he would be effective in building up others.

We have had a few former leaders from free group type fellowships come to meet with us. Unfortunately, some felt that were the answer to our need and assumed they would be immediately raised to a leadership position. That is a problem since the assembly where I gather does not have a formal leadership structure. We have no apostle who is appointing elders or extra local work to which we belong. We are a family. All participate in decisions regarding the church family from direction to discipline. We are very different from the old local church I knew. About the only thing similar is some meeting practices such as any can call a hymn. Many give personal testimonies regarding their experiences of Christ. Any can call for specific prayer at any time. We do refer to each other as brother and sister but not always or even most of the time. We do have ministry of the word but that occupies a minority of the time. A conference or retreat type gathering is rare and is for a specific purpose related to local needs. We have no ongoing conference schedule to enable some worker to speak.

As far as old brother Hope, Don Rutledge, how did he detox. For six years I did not open my mouth in any Christian gathering, not to pray, to give a testimony, to share the word or to ask a question. I visited denominations, Bible Churches, Free Groups, home meetings etc. I only spoke when spoken to. Mainly I listened and sought to learn from the Christ in the believers. I made friends with several pastors and had good fellowship with them and members of their congregations and I still do. Monthly, I supported missionaries financially, and I still do. I gave money for summer mission trips of children of friends and I still do. My wife and I shared the good news of Jesus Christ with friends, co-workers and friends of our children. My wife and I prayed together every morning. I read the Bible daily. I did not read any LSM literature and I still do not, but did read a few other authors but mainly only the Bible with no footnotes etc.

We occasionally crossed paths with saints from the past and enjoyed being with them. We lived in the county and were somewhat isolated. We stayed in touch with some in Raleigh who had been rejected by the LSM. They took most of the initiative and were incredibly kind toward us. Gradually we began to see them more often. Eventually around 1996-7 we began to join them in meetings on a more regular basis. I continued to say and do very little.

Over time the number has increased from a handful of former local churchers huddling for warmth. We never claim to be “God’s only saving grace” whatever that means. Today, some may say I have some type of leadership but whatever that may be is not official but only spiritual and comes only from mutual respect for one another.

Overflow, I trust this helps a little.

In Christ Jesus,

Hope, Don Rutledge

I just have one question. Overflow in your post you wrote, "I have issues with believing that an LC elder could healthily step into the leadership of another church without serious counseling and detoxing!"
I cannot ever recall claiming to be a leader anywhere. I know of no reference to my stepping into the leadership of another church. Can you let me know where I may have given the thought that I was anything at all? I surely do not want to be self assuming. If I have, please get me straight.
01-20-2009 09:01 AM
Oregon
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overflow View Post
After leaving a system of confused scripture, legalistic focus and egocentric belief of being God's only saving grace....I have issues with believing that an LC elder could healthily step into the leadership of another church without serious counseling and detoxing! HOPE how did you transition away/search out the deception from truth that was ingrained in you during your time with LC!?!?

Hi Overflow.

Please don't equate your experience with those who have a history in the local church. They may not be the same at all. I don't believe HOPE needed any detoxing. There are a lot of dear saints....including leading ones no longer in the local churches related to LSM. The thought that they need some kind of detoxing is just way over the top.
01-20-2009 08:49 AM
finallyprettyokay
Re: The LCS Factor

Overflow wrote:
Quote:
After leaving a system of confused scripture, legalistic focus and egocentric belief of being God's only saving grace....I have issues with believing that an LC elder could healthily step into the leadership of another church without serious counseling and detoxing! HOPE how did you transition away/search out the deception from truth that was ingrained in you during your time with LC!?!?
Hello Overflow. I don't think we have cyber-met. Welcome.

This is great, what you wrote. I would just add that how did any of us transition out of the deception from truth? Painfully, mostly. Speaking for myself, it was a mess inside of me. For years. Everyone has a different story on that --- one of the best parts of this forum is sharing how that worked for each of us. I'm just not so sure that it would be any harder (or easier) for someone that had been an elder. Maybe. Different issues, I guess. Detoxing is never easy.

Good to read from you, Overflow.

fpo

--
01-20-2009 07:42 AM
Overflow
Re: The LCS Factor

After leaving a system of confused scripture, legalistic focus and egocentric belief of being God's only saving grace....I have issues with believing that an LC elder could healthily step into the leadership of another church without serious counseling and detoxing! HOPE how did you transition away/search out the deception from truth that was ingrained in you during your time with LC!?!?
01-20-2009 04:07 AM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
I have stated on numerous occasions what my experience of the LCS is and how I gather my information. It is no mystery.
No ... djohnson ... I do believe it was Norm who stated what your "experience in the LCS has been and how you gathered your information." He referred to you as PK ... a Person of Knowledge.

Not only is FPO a little bewildered here, but many others on this forum including myself have often wondered why you continually bear such animus towards others once associated with the LC's. I too, hailing from Ohio, have received some of it from you.

Your recent line of interrogations against the poster Hope seems to indicate a personal enmity based on some foreknowledge which goes far beyond a "casual LC relationship" which you have on occasion purported.
01-20-2009 12:01 AM
finallyprettyokay
Re: The LCS Factor

djohnson:

I was gone from the forum for several months, didn't have internet access. So I may have missed something -- I feel like I did. I'm wanting to get it -- we'll see if I do.

Some quotes - from you:

Quote:
Is the church you are currently involved in not a break away from the LCS church? Are not the leaders there former elders in the LCS outlet in Raleigh? And are you not involved with other LCS spin offs e.g. in southern California who are also break aways from the LCS and whose leaders are also for the most part former elders in the LCS?

and from kisstheson:

Quote:
It has now been two full years since I left the LC. I have spent most of those two years re-discovering the riches that abound in the entire Body of Christ. Very recently, this thread has prompted me to spend much time with the Lord going back and considering “the LCS factor” in my own life and in the lives of my family. What really was it that we touched there in the LC? What was pure, refined gold and what was dross? What part of the LC, both the good and the bad, remains with me to this very day?
and
Quote:
I don’t know what I am trying to say . . . too many conflicting emotions . . . too many things I have not adequately thought through . . . too little maturity on my part . . . All I know is that I love you all in Christ, beloved ones.

So, here is what I don't understand. Is there some inherently wrong with being a spin off from the LC? And I guess I should maybe have a more clear definition of what that means. Does it have to do with people who used to be in the LC being in a group together, and the leaders of that group used to be leaders in the LC? Is that pretty much it? I wonder if I am missing something -- why that idea or that way of being a group would be so bothersome to you. What am I missing?

Don't get me wrong -- I don't think I would ever want to meet in one of those groups. It just isn't for me. Maybe I am more like a recovering alcoholic who doesn't even want to live near a bar. Or drink an O'Douls. Maybe I just need a lot more distance to have my life feel sane and balanced to me. I have a friend in one of those groups and when I talk to her I think yikes, I wouldn't want to do that. But it seems to work really well for her. We all have the same God, but different paths. That's why it's a personal relationship.

So I am just not sure why you seem to be so upset with Don about this part. I think he has shared that his group has ex-members, and once mentioned he was going to California to meet with another 'spin off' group. I think he was going to do some speaking there. But so what? We came through fire, and we are all working out the salvation of the rest of our time in this life, before God with (at times) fear and trembling. My husband and I go to a demonination. Love it. Love the people. Pastor is a good friend. We do service in different forms. Someone else meets with a non-demoninational non-affliated church and loves it. Someone else meets with a different demonination than the one we sort of stumbled into, maybe really different. And loves it. Some one else is in a spin off. Is being a spin off inherently wrong?

It seems like you are so angry with Don about this, and I just don't get it. Oh, don't get me wrong again -- I have had some issues with Don, and have written about it. I don't know if the idea that you or someone close to is close to Max is true -- doesn't matter -- maybe it's an urban legend . I know Max very well and he has been part of my story since I was 17. (Oh, my. My recent birthday makes that 40 years yikes!) . I feel like Don is too hard on Max, that he isn't fair. I don't claim any lack of bias in my feelings. I love Max. And his family. They are part of me, part of my history. Well, I have written about this several times, but I have a feeling I haven't convinced Don to come into the light and see this my way. Still, I think I have remained mostly respectful and kind. If not, I'm sorry and shame on me, I know better.

So I am not saying don't be angry when you need to be. I just want to understand what it is you are saying, and why.

And then I quoted KisstheSon because what he wrote touched my heart deeply. He has written this sort of thing before, I think. And this seems to me a really good reason why this forum may exist. To help each other, encourage and support each other while we detox. The LC toxin is hard to shed, and not having to do it alone sure helps.

So, I am hoping we can get this tone back on this forum -- we don't all agree, we won't and can't (more 'an likely). But we can be gentle and respectful and try to realize we are all figuring this out, and trying to do it together, not on our own.

Is there any way we can all leave behind the accusing tones and words?

Could we pick right up on what KTS said there and see if he needs something we can help give him? Fill in other examples, to complete this thought --- you all know what I mean.

It's late. I'm tired. I hope you are all well. I have a big day ahead of me tomorrow, watching the tv, celebrating. So, everyone sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite. Stay warm.

finallyprettyokay


---
01-19-2009 08:47 PM
Terry
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
Terry so the First Baptist Church where you live is a local church?
Welcome back dj. There is no "First Baptist Church" where I live. There is Calvary Baptist Church, Highlands Community Church, etc. Each assembly are locally accessible. I've met with several of them. Each minister Christ to brothers and sisters locally. In this sense it is a local church.

Terry
01-19-2009 07:58 PM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

Terry so the First Baptist Church where you live is a local church?
01-19-2009 07:56 PM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

Hope I have stated on numerous occasions what my experience of the LCS is and how I gather my information. It is no mystery.

Is the church you are currently involved in not a break away from the LCS church? Are not the leaders there former elders in the LCS outlet in Raleigh? And are you not involved with other LCS spin offs e.g. in southern California who are also break aways from the LCS and whose leaders are also for the most part former elders in the LCS?
01-19-2009 07:42 PM
Terry
Re: The LCS Factor

djohnson there is The Local Church and then there is a local church. The Local Church is reference to fellowship of specific assemblies that were once local churches. Since the formation of Living Stream Ministry, these local churches have over time become ministry churches known as The Local Churches.
A local church may be identified as any Christian assembly in the community which you live. I meet with a local church, but it's not a Local Church as identified through LCS.
In response to Hope, isn't there no LCS spinoff without LSM? Once you remove LSM from the equation a big chunk of the system is gone.

Terry
01-19-2009 05:57 PM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

djohnson,

How many times have you analyzed my posts based on my being a former elder? Even when I speak of the Lord’s work among an assembly of believers here you assess it as an LCS spin off since you know I was once an elder in the local church in Dallas. Why do you use information about me to critique but who you really are and what your experience is is not important in evaluating your content? Why the double standard?

Don Rutledge
01-19-2009 04:44 PM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

Would that make your alter ego Peter, Steve?

Why not pay attention to content instead of figuring out how someone fits into comfortable predetermined pigeon holes?

Hope so are you saying there was an old local church and now there is a new local church and the new local church is the present local church and this all refers to the LCS/LSM?
01-19-2009 03:18 PM
AndPeter
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
Actually djohnson has posted that he was never in a local church but has a friend who was in a local church and his friend knew Max Rapoport. djohnson has posted that he developed an interest in the local church based on his friendship with the former member and the former member keeps him updated.

Don Rutledge
djohnson's friend perhaps is his alter ego. (Mirriam-Webster definition of alter ego: :(a) a second self as a trusted friend (b): the opposite side of a personality)

Steve
01-19-2009 01:40 PM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
What is the present local church Hope?
Are you playing with me? The churches under the LSM umbrella claiming to be the "recovery" linked to the Watchman Nee tradition.

Don Rutledge
01-19-2009 11:56 AM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

What is the present local church Hope?
01-19-2009 10:32 AM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger View Post
I think djohnson has made it a point to not let us know if he has ever been in the Local Church or not.
Roger
Actually djohnson has posted that he was never in a local church but has a friend who was in a local church and his friend knew Max Rapoport. djohnson has posted that he developed an interest in the local church based on his friendship with the former member and the former member keeps him updated.

Don Rutledge
01-19-2009 10:28 AM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
Hope in the description of your LCS spin off in Raleigh you neglected to mention what isn't OK about it. No need to mention that Paul did this about various situations in the NT. We are already aware of that.

Some the from the "old local church"? That is an interesting thought. Is there a "new local church"?
djohnson,

We all have a great need to be more Christlike. We need more love for Christ and for one another and for the lost and dying world. Many of us, especially me, are too often caught up with our own selves and self interests. We are often slow to respond to the promptings of the Lord during our daily living. We need to be strengthened to pray more. We need more time in the Word of God. We are desirous of being better parents and have a long way to go. These are just a few of our short comings. We could go on for quite a while pointing out flat spots and failures among us. We are not great. We are not special. About all we can boast of is Christ. He is so merciful and kind. If you ever visited, you would have plenty of ground to admonish. We would hear you out and bring your criticisms to the Lord. Perhaps we could have a two way fellowship as Paul with the Roman Christians, Rom 1:12, that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other's faith, both yours and mine. NASB

"Old local church" meant not the present local church. As far as I know, except for me, none of the saints with whom we gather has seen a local church meeting for probably 15-20 years.


In Christ Jesus,

Hope, Don Rutledge
01-19-2009 07:43 AM
OBW
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
I am a little put out with you. I need to get on with other things besides this thread but you keep putting out these excellent posts with such concise and pointed insight. You make me think and consider and then desire for your points to be expanded through some dialogue.

So cut it out!!!

...

But as to the person you are referring to. He was who he was without any help from WL or James Barber. Sadly the way the leadership structure was set up he was able to bring in his own problem ways.
Don,

I never try to be that troublesome. It is just the nature of a seriously introverted INTP. (Google that. It is an eye-opener about my temperament.)

As for the one you mention as just being who he was, I think I already knew that, but no matter why or how, he was a problem right there among us.

While there are many other comments I could make here, I will note that you sent me an IM to which I would love to respond. You will need to delete some messages first because it won’t let me send anything to you.
01-18-2009 07:18 PM
kisstheson
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
It is a shame but it is true. I just cannot read Lee. I have not been able to since around 1989. I tried to recently. Here in Durham we have a few gospel friends. They are happy to come to our homes for refreshments and some social contact and we have been having a short gospel sharing with them. I recalled a publication by WL called “Gospel Outlines.” I looked it up on their web-site. I tried to see how it might help but I felt I was wading through a knee deep East Arkansas river swamp. You ought to visit their web-site. It is unique in its reverence to the man WL and his heritage.
I fully sympathize with you, dear brother Hope. If you go to austin-sparks.net, you should find a refreshing change. Yes, this site is a repository containing many writings and audio speakings from TAS, but it does not reverence the man TAS. Statments like the the following one can be found at various places on this site:

"Based in Honor Oak, London, TAS (as he was affectionately known) was not lacking in opposition and rejection to himself and his ministry in the denominational circles of the day, he felt he should neither defend himself nor promote himself. Something which becomes clear when reading the writings of T. Austin-Sparks is that very little information is given about himself or his personal life; instead the focus is consistently upon Christ as his (and our) Life. Your attention is continually directed away from the messenger to the One Who is the Message: 'For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. (2 Cor 4:5).'"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
Criticizing people behind their back and the cowardly method of attacking people in public where there will not be push back was an awful trait of WL that was not checked and was picked up by others. This was a huge personal flaw that along with family loyalty and unchecked ego eventually swallowed up WL’s positive portion.
Ah, yes. How sad. The flip side to being a "seer of the divine revelation in the present age" is the very real danger of developing a terrible sense of pride and an unchecked ego. A part of my previous quote from dear brother Richard Rohr stated: "The more spiritual it looks, the more dangerous it is." Engaging in the business of seeing "high peak" revelations without the counterbalancnig humiliations from some "thorns in the flesh" is perilous indeed! Pride and an unchecked ego are sure to result. Just like the seven scrawny cows seen in Pharoh's vision, the "scrawny cows" of pride and an unchecked ego can easily swallow up the "fat cows" of previous positive portions.
01-18-2009 05:59 PM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

Hope in the description of your LCS spin off in Raleigh you neglected to mention what isn't OK about it. No need to mention that Paul did this about various situations in the NT. We are already aware of that.

Some the from the "old local church"? That is an interesting thought. Is there a "new local church"?
01-18-2009 05:17 PM
aron
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by kisstheson View Post
What really was it that we touched there in the LC? What was pure, refined gold and what was dross? What part of the LC, both the good and the bad, remains with me to this very day?
I really appreciate the quote from Rohr, The more spiritual it looks, the more dangerous it is. The spiritual life is a very risky adventure, but what’s the alternative?

When I came in the LC, as a newbie believer, not knowing my "begats" from my "beatitudes", I was strongly impressed with the spiritual nature of the fellowship I'd found. Compared to this, the worldly gatherings elsewhere couldn't compare.

It took a long time for the dark side of the spiritual scene I'd found to manifest itself. Satan is not called the subtle one for no reason (Of course we all are partly dark; only Jesus is fully in the light; I am not saying this to judge anyone. I merely point out this fact as an assent to kts' quote of Rohr).

I really thought I was free from any peril, once saved and in the LC. "Just do whatever they tell you; everything will be fine." No, sorry: the peril which always accompanies any spiritual light was there, hidden from me, the trusting rube. I couldn't imagine how such light could have any dark aspect.

"If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!" Matt. 6:23

Eventually, under much pain and duress, I learned that the only "safe" course for me was to admit that I was full of darkness. This truth is irrespective of how many conferences I've sat through, how many verses I've bellowed with the faithful throng. I had to admit my darkness. Then and only then could I begin to be led into the light. Those who think they can see will remain in darkness (cf John 9:41). The LC brethren did in fact see quite a lot relatively speaking, but then they made the great error of thinking that they saw. Only God can see. When we erroneously think that we can see, we inadvertantly thrust God away, and our light becomes darkness. (As soon as someone claims that they are at the "high peak" of truth, this should be a clear warning that the pillars of their house are crumbling around them).

btw, imho the alternatives to the risky adventure (see Rohr's quote, above) of the spiritual life are two. The first is a life of sin. God is holy and this is abhorrent to Him. The second alternative is a life of religion, thinking that one is holy like God. God hates this even more! See Matthew 21:31 - "The tax collectors and the harlots are going into the kingdom of God before you" (!)

But I am probably digressing by now...
01-18-2009 04:21 PM
Paul Cox
Re: The LCS Factor

I think djohnson has made it a point to not let us know if he has ever been in the Local Church or not.
Roger
01-18-2009 03:27 PM
juliep
Re: The LCS Factor

(I have to apologize once again, I am not akamai enough to know how to quote what I am responding to with this post.) We obviously have several subjects going back and forth in this Thread. However, here goes...(oh - that's a Hawaiian word for knowledgeable,fun huh?)

I will use one name here since Don hinted at him in a recent post. Gene Deberry (sp?) was definantely involved in my experience with the elders as a teen. It sounds like this may be a surprise to some readers - but Gene was not alone - he and other elders were present at the meeting. (I dont know, I must have been an important person if this was not his norm - Lol) And no, as much as Don would like me to, I am not going to mention other names. I don't think it is appropriate.

I only mentioned the bare facts of the incident as a means of support for BlessD and others. This was a very terrible time in my life and I don't wish to rehash in every detail what happened. Besides the fact (and I apologize for being rude) anyone reading the posts about this incident, but not directly involved, you dont need to know the specifics - in my mind, its only curiosity seeking at this point. So as to relating more info as clarification - its not going to happen. And de facto - if a person is wanting clarification then obviously that person wasn't involved, as I'm sure readers of the forum can surmise for themselves.

If persons dont want to believe my account of what happened to me, then don't...As I've said before the intention of speaking out about this incident was a way of support and verification for others who went through the same or similar experiences...I believe that has happened, so I am satisfied with how I have handled this subject.
I have enjoyed hearing from everyone and the wonderful support that is out there. (For the most part.)

Oh, this might be interesting for some readers - I lived in the Big House in Dallas just like Hope did. I was in the 5th grade at the local elementary- some of my fellow students along with their families ended up in the LC in Dallas. I remember it was a surprise when one family in particular showed up at a meeting out of the blue (OBW). LOL (Forgive me for the mention.)
We had single sisters living with us at the time. There were 3 upstairs bedrooms and the sisters lived in one of the bedrooms, my sister and myself had the middle bedroom (the third of my 4 siblings was born near the end of our residency there) and my parents occupied the third bedroom. Downstairs we had use of a small living room and the kitchen. However, there were two other large rooms we were not allowed to use because they were used during the week and on week-ends for prayer meetings, childrens meetings, and various other meetings and church related activities. And then of course the back room served as the service office back in those days.

I remember sometimes a brother or sister would be maning the post but if not my mom would have to run answer the church phone, on rare occasion I answered if she was busy and couldnt get to it. We got some bizarre calls from neighbors wondering what was going on at the property. As you can imagine they were not always nice.
Thanks for letting me reminisce, amazing how many memories are coming back as I post... So long ago, but yet still so present.
Aloha
(As you can see, I removed myself as far as possible and still be in the U.S.) Lol
01-18-2009 03:02 PM
Terry
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post

1. In denial (in denial of what?)

2. Like most former elders of the LCS. (This from djohnson who was never in a local church. Can someone clarify what most former elders of the LCS are like?)

6. You accuse Don of trying to say every place was not the same. (Wow, I am guilty as charged.)

7. Why do you think the LSM is scared to death regarding my coming history?)
1. I believe this applies more towards current lc/lsm leadership than it is towards those who have left. Not complete denial of abuses, but definitely denial when saying there's no politics in the recovery.

2. Each former elder are different. One may not want to talk about the past. One may open up when asked. One may be willing to tell it like it is.

6. Every place is not the same. I lived in various localities as a child and met in one as an adult. New Mexico, Califronia, and Washington are each different. I read the Thread of Gold. I cannot relate to her experiences. Even if California was different than Texas doesn't mean what happened in Texas never happened. Just different localities with different leadership.
I would ask towards those who were raised in the local churches, the locality you grew up in recieves you as the prodigal son while localities you didn't grow up in doesn't receive you as lovingly?

7. I haven't heard a word LSM is scared of Hope's historical narrative. What is this based on.
Would this have any relation to LSM conducting a formal survey of those who met during the Eldon Hall period?

Terry
01-18-2009 01:29 PM
kisstheson
Re: The LCS Factor

Dear ones,

It has now been two full years since I left the LC. I have spent most of those two years re-discovering the riches that abound in the entire Body of Christ. Very recently, this thread has prompted me to spend much time with the Lord going back and considering “the LCS factor” in my own life and in the lives of my family. What really was it that we touched there in the LC? What was pure, refined gold and what was dross? What part of the LC, both the good and the bad, remains with me to this very day?

Right now I have only questions and not many answers. Very unexpectedly, I was reading in the book Simplicity: The Freedom of Letting Go by dear brother Richard Rohr and I came across a section that touched me deeply:

Quote:
The Perils of New Communities

There is a danger in spiritual riches. The corruption of the best is the worst of all. Our gift and our sin are two sides of the same coin . . . We can do the right thing for the wrong reasons. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to do the right thing. The point is that we always have to be mindful of its dark side too. It’s always very humbling to do that . . . The more spiritual it looks, the more dangerous it is. The spiritual life is a very risky adventure, but what’s the alternative?
“There is a danger in spiritual riches. The corruption of the best is the worst of all. Our gift and our sin are two sides of the same coin.” Dear Lord, that really speaks volumes to me and helps to put my LC experience into perspective. Don’t ask me how, dear brothers and sisters, but this word is somehow working inwardly and helping to heal me.

I don’t know what I am trying to say . . . too many conflicting emotions . . . too many things I have not adequately thought through . . . too little maturity on my part . . . All I know is that I love you all in Christ, beloved ones.

May our dear heavenly Father have mercy on us all.
01-18-2009 01:26 PM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

Dear Brother Mike,

I am a little put out with you. I need to get on with other things besides this thread but you keep putting out these excellent posts with such concise and pointed insight. You make me think and consider and then desire for your points to be expanded through some dialogue.

So cut it out!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Roger has said it best.
And YP has correctly noticed that the ones that seemed to want to carry this thread to the worst extremes have essentially vacated.
True, but if you go back a bit and if you were reading my PMs and emails you will notice that some are making ole Hope an issue. Here is a sampling. There are some comments by me in ( ).

1. In denial (in denial of what?)

2. Like most former elders of the LCS. (This from djohnson who was never in a local church. Can someone clarify what most former elders of the LCS are like?)

3. Hope has never left it in mind and heart and probably not bodily if his church in Raleigh is anything like the other LCS spin offs. (Again from djohnson who was never in a local church. So how can I get a LC lobotomy and a heart transplant that would satisfy my dear loving critics?)

4. If you truly are innocent of these things. (Tell me again what I am guilty of.)

5. We may say that Don has protested in a poor way. (Please educate me on a better way to present my observations.)

6. You accuse Don of trying to say every place was not the same. (Wow, I am guilty as charged.)

7. There was some concern that requests for details sounded more like attempts to disprove the story. Assuming that was not the case, it does point to our inability to act with compassion. (Could it be that the details would have confirmed the story? This is where you are over my head. If the shoe was on the other foot, I would have rushed in with details and confirming witnesses. Why do you think the LSM is scared to death regarding my coming history?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
My assessment is that:
  1. While there is both sound doctrine in the LC, it is buried in leaven, self aggrandizement, and false teachings cloaked in Biblical terms.
  1. Yes, to leaven. Yes, to self aggrandizement. Yes to false teachings cloaked in Biblical terms. But what false teaching are not found to be cloaked in Biblical terms? ESPECIALLY YES TO SELF AGGRANDIZEMENT AND CRITICISM OF EVERYONE ELSE.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OBW View Post
  2. While the LC and the LSM are full of precious and sweet Christians, the structure around them is full of corrupt, greedy, and/or self-centered men who will use the money of the loyal for their own personal gain or that very loyalty for their personal prestige.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Don: While each church was surely unique, the spread of the “ministry’s” control was unstoppable. The church in Dallas may not have been an open source of the kind of things that BlessD and Juliep speak, but it was used for them anyway by the hierarchy that surrounded you/us. You do not do yourself any favor by seeking to spare anyone or anyplace of inquiry.
Despite my statements elsewhere that the LC is a sound evangelical group with problems, here I say that those problems are so strong and high that there is little chance of saving it. (I hope that the GLA can prove me wrong.)
Truth is in Christ, not the LC. The LC has become corrupt. It began long ago, even before Benson visited Houston to shame Jane. Much of it was for so long hidden, even from you. But you began to see it some period before you left. It has continued to grow. It is time to open the gates of the LC and let the flock out of their captivity..
Mike this is one of the most insightful statements I have read on the forum. Some very, as you say, corrupt, greedy, and/or self-centered men who will use the money of the loyal for their own personal gain or that very loyalty for their personal prestige, did get into the churches and work. See Acts chapter 20,

Acts 20:28-31, “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert,” NASB

My failures from my viewpoint mainly are around the fact I was not on the alert. I even encouraged the wolves and those who were looking for a following. I believe the Lord has forgiven me and I have confessed to many of the brothers and sisters and if there are anymore to whom I owe repentance I hope they will come forward.

Yes, I agree that by 1974-75 it was too late. The die was cast. Not only was the spread of the control of the ministry unstoppable but also the corruption and attack on the independence of the individual church and brothers and sisters was beginning to be an ongoing phenomenon. Thus, I earlier said to you that if you had stayed in Dallas rather than moving to Irving things would have gone about the same.

Yes, there were many hidden things and many surprises. There was always more than one thing going on. There was always similar words but different definitions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
For those who revere Lee, it is time to stop. He may have brought much truth together in a way we had never seen it done before (at least in the 60s and 70s). But he mixed that truth with leaven. It has been chemically changed from pure truth to yeast-truth. You can no longer separate the two. You must start over. To do so does not require Lee or Nee, else you risk reintroducing the leaven you seek to expel..
It is a shame but it is true. I just cannot read Lee. I have not been able to since around 1989. I tried to recently. Here in Durham we have a few gospel friends. They are happy to come to our homes for refreshments and some social contact and we have been having a short gospel sharing with them. I recalled a publication by WL called “Gospel Outlines.” I looked it up on their web-site. I tried to see how it might help but I felt I was wading through a knee deep East Arkansas river swamp. You ought to visit their web-site. It is unique in its reverence to the man WL and his heritage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
[*]Lee also brought much of the corruption upon himself through his money schemes which he mixed with the church, then in pushing his immoral son on the churches through the LSM and lying about those who sought to bring that shame to an end...
TRUE and very tragic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Unfortunately, that means that those wonderful, sweet, pure Christians are constantly being inundated with that leaven, to their detriment, and associated with the sins of their leaders by their silence, especially when they simply look the other way due to following the unbiblical teachings of deputy authority...
RIGHT AGAIN

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
In another post you mentioned several names and family names to suggest that those could not be so corrupt and that they would not knowingly tolerate such corruption. You may be correct with respect to the 70s, but we are no longer sure that any of those are clearly not now corrupted at some level (although I'm fairly sure that some are not). In any case, there are several leading ones in the Texas region who were that corrupt at that time. Ignoring BP, I think that at least one of them was in Dallas from about 1975. Some of the others in those meetings may have merely been invited to observe the control that others could exert. I'm sure that it was effective.
No need to pursue some of the general charges by the formerly teenage sisters, it is a real tar baby. But as to the person you are referring to. He was who he was without any help from WL or James Barber. Sadly the way the leadership structure was set up he was able to bring in his own problem ways. Eventually he alienated so many in Texas he had to leave. Then in the Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado area the same thing happened. Sad. Too many others were hurt. He was not all bad but got no help. I should have been much stronger as also George should have stood up to him. MY BAD. I do not blame WL for the fruit of this brother. George and I are also guilty for letting his flesh damage others.

He would not have invited others to witness him abuse a saint. That is one problem I have with the details of the two stories. I do not agree that anyone extra would have been invited to a meeting of confrontation in order to learn how to shame or control.

Criticizing people behind their back and the cowardly method of attacking people in public where there will not be push back was an awful trait of WL that was not checked and was picked up by others. This was a huge personal flaw that along with family loyalty and unchecked ego eventually swallowed up WL’s positive portion.

Hope, Don Rutledge
01-18-2009 12:04 PM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
Oh ya I forgot Hope. Wherever you are is always OK.
Dear djohnson,

Let me see now. Did you not read and commit rather sharply when on the other forum I exposed my own misdeeds and those of some I was with.

Hope, Don Rutledge

PS Can you define what you mean by "is always OK?" Even with Paul the apostle things were not always OK. 2 Cor 4:7-9, But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; NASB

I know a lot about the phrase in bold.

By the way, can you live with it if some from the old local church may have been struck down but are not destroyed?
01-18-2009 10:39 AM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

Oh ya I forgot Hope. Wherever you are is always OK.
01-18-2009 09:34 AM
UntoHim
Re: The LCS Factor

Thanks YP....

And all God's people said.... and all God's people said.... oh come on gang....

A-M-E-N !
01-18-2009 09:19 AM
YP0534
Lord, check my attitude.

People who are endeavoring to go on as best they know how should be given encouragement and challenge and not be summarily dismissed.

I may take issue with some people's seemingly unexplored underlying assumptions, but I recognize that I too have much to learn and seek to learn what I can from Him through them.
01-18-2009 08:00 AM
UntoHim
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger View Post
Actually, I was talking about the Catholic clergy. But in reality, since the renewal movement has made good ground in the RCC, there are some who do in fact know something of the move of the Holy Spirit

Opps...my bad Are you sure that wasn't a Freudian slip?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
...No teenagers are hauled into rooms with stuffy old men but many of the teenagers do consult older saints for advice and direction
Actually what I said was "stuffy OLDER men", not "stuffy old men"

I knew I should have just stayed out of this one. I should have just made my post the one sentence.
"Bottom line: The Holy Spirit works on hearts and minds, He is saving the transformation of our flesh until the next age" This pretty much says everything I was trying to say anyway
01-18-2009 07:25 AM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
Like most former elders of the LCS it is apparent that Hope has never left it in mind and heart and probably not bodily if his church in Raleigh is anything like the other LCS spin offs.
I do not know if we are a "spin off" or not. We enjoy the headship of Christ. Only He is Lord. He speaks to us individually and corporately. He walks in our midst as the High Priest triming the wick of the Lampstand that it might shine brighter.

We are not of any ministry or gifted member. We receive all whom the Lord has received. We endeavor to honor the uncomely members which is about all of us. We are not great. We are not special. Christ is special and all His believers are special.

We sing, (but probably not so good) we pray, we testify, some teach the word, some speak a current word from the Lord to us.

We have all ages together from young teenagers to those in their 80s. Several families are there which span three generations. Some of the third generation are teenagers and they love and comfort the older saints. The toddlers and babies are loved by all.

No teenagers are hauled into rooms with stuffy old men but many of the teenagers do consult older saints for advice and direction.

Hope, Don Rutledge
01-18-2009 03:54 AM
YP0534
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I do regret that I did appear to be an "enemy" of both sides, while trying to take what in my mind was the "middle ground."
I never perceived any "enemy" situation, Ohio.

I observed you admirably defending what also seemed to me to be somewhere around the "middle ground" in the discussion.

I only meant that consensus coalesced around your adamant stand.

I hope you would not regret too much.

I really appreciated it.
01-17-2009 10:56 PM
Paul Cox
Re: The LCS Factor

“The tragedy is that you have these men who know nothing about the Holy Spirit, trying to tame the flesh with religious ordinances. It’s a recipe for disaster....”


Actually, I was talking about the Catholic clergy. But in reality, since the renewal movement has made good ground in the RCC, there are some who do in fact know something of the move of the Holy Spirit.

Roger
01-17-2009 09:22 PM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

Witness Lee used public shaming and intimidation tactics and the lemming leaders under him followed suite. That's what they were trained to do and they did it basically by rote. The latest example of this was the ridiculous Whistler "outing" of Titus Chu. Per Phillip's and Yu's own admission they asked themselves: "What would Witness Lee do?" Then they did it. And any honest person from the GLA will admit that Chu has used the same type of tactics in his region.
01-17-2009 09:07 PM
UntoHim
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger View Post
Actually, the system is rotten to the core. The tragedy is that you have these men who know nothing about the Holy Spirit, trying to tame the flesh with religious ordinances. It’s a recipe for disaster....
It has been my observation that the root problem with the Living Stream Church is an improper view of, and a dying loyalty to Witness Lee. It would also appear that with many who have left, the LSM style problems that continue to hang on with them, is still their refusal to cast Witness Lee in the proper light
Roger covered a lot of ground in this post here... I will just hit upon what I think are some of the most important issues at hand.

LCS stands for "Local Church System"...the thread starter can correct me if I'm wrong. At the risk of getting into trouble with the semantics police, I prefer to call to The Local Church a “religion” rather then a “system”, and here is why - A system (e.g. a belief system) can be examined, studied and critiqued totally apart from the people who imbibe and practice it. This is virtually impossible to do with a group such as The Local Church. Furthermore, “systems" rarely develop into world-wide cults... one never hears of a "system cult" causing all sorts of problems in society or running off to a secluded jungle to commit mass suicide. Frequently these groups developed into what is sometimes called “a personality cult”. Thankfully, most of these do not go to the extreme of the worst case scenario of mass suicide. **And no, I am NOT comparing the Local Church to Jim Jones’ Peoples Temple – only to show the extremes that some religious groups which are dominated by a single personality can go to.

For all their efforts, denials and insisting to not be known as a “religion”, Witness Lee and his followers sure did a bang up job of forming, growing and promoting a rather complex and comprehensive religious organization, complete with it’s own creeds, rules, cultural norms, leadership structure and headquarters. In retrospect, all these things existed while Witness Lee was alive as well; but at that time they were passed on directly from the person and work of Lee himself. In a sense, the person of Witness Lee continues in the form of “The Blended Brothers”, who claim to be “Brother Lee’s continuation”, and his work continues in the form of “The One Publication” – simply Lee’s spoken ministry in printed form.

For years and years, Lee claimed that the Local Churches were not an “organization” but rather an “organism”. So how is it that when the lead “organism” (or at least the heart and soul of the organism) is dead and buried for over a decade, can they still claim to be a living organism? Well the answer is very simple – it is because The Local Church of Witness Lee has NEVER BEEN an organism at all, it is and has always been a religious organization, or more simply put – A Religion.

Ok, I’m drifting here…let me try to reel this post back in…

Roger quoted: “The tragedy is that you have these men who know nothing about the Holy Spirit, trying to tame the flesh with religious ordinances. It’s a recipe for disaster....” While I think the term “nothing” here may be a little over-the-top, “almost nothing” would not be a stretch at all when it comes to Witness Lee and many of the leaders in The Local Church. Many modern-day evangelical Christians define “religion” as man’s fleshly attempt at following and/or representing God without the benefit of his blessing or presence, and the genuine love and potent power that comes with them. Church history is replete with almost countless examples of Christian groups that got a good start, only to fall away and eventually deteriorate into dead religion, or even worse. Most of the time the fall can be directly attributed to the phenomena Roger has so aptly described above… “tame the flesh with religious ordinances”. When will we ever get it through our thick heads that “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”? Ummm… the religionists there in Anaheim and on the Internet rail against contemporary Christian worship and music as “the works of the flesh”, all the while they do almost nothing that does not require copious amounts of the works of the flesh. And this is what religion does – it turns the relying on the working of the Holy Spirit to the relying on the works of the flesh.

Let’s boil this down to the lowest common denominator. Would the Holy Spirit abuse? Would the Holy Spirit round up a teenager and force her to confess before a bunch of stuffy older men that she had broken one of the cherished religious ordinances? (thou shalt not hold hands or kiss until you’re engaged to be married). Would the Holy Spirit round up a grown, mature woman, in front of those same older, stuffy dudes, and claim that she was starting some rebellion because she was getting together with other sisters, getting into the Word and other forms of Christian literature? (thou shalt only read Living Stream material) Would the Holy Spirit make some Christian brother stand up in front of hundreds of people and reveal certain peculiarities and character flaws, or have them pointed out to him from somebody behind a microphone? (remember those “perfecting” meetings?)

Bottom line: The Holy Spirit works on hearts and minds, He is saving the transformation of our flesh until the next age.
01-17-2009 04:00 PM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger View Post
I hope I have not left anyone with this impression: "nothing but corruption and all the people there are worthless or of no value." If I did, then it was not my intention....
Hi Brother Roger,

No, you have not left the impression that "nothing but corruption and all the people there are worthless or of no value."

Is not it so interesting that you would proclaim that many of the people are worthwhile but the system is "rotten to the core." You also say the same regarding the Catholic system. Sound familar. Can we say that some New Testament passages apply? Eph 4:14, As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; (a system of error) NASB or perhaps we could look at Acts chapter 20, Acts 20:30-32, and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. NASB


Hope, Don Rutledge
01-17-2009 01:36 PM
OBW
Re: The LCS Factor

Roger has said it best.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger View Post
The vast majority of the saints in the Living Stream Church are precious and sweet ... Also, the vast majority of the elders and deacons are precious and sweet. I can remember most of them with nothing but fondness.

Lest I be called a Lee hater, I must also say that I received tremendous help from the ministry of Witness Lee.

I guess all this should preface my statement that the system is rotten to the core.
And YP has correctly noticed that the ones that seemed to want to carry this thread to the worst extremes have essentially vacated.



My assessment is that:
  1. While there is both sound doctrine in the LC, it is buried in leaven, self aggrandizement, and false teachings cloaked in Biblical terms.
  2. While the LC and the LSM are full of precious and sweet Christians, the structure around them is full of corrupt, greedy, and/or self-centered men who will use the money of the loyal for their own personal gain or that very loyalty for their personal prestige.
Don: While each church was surely unique, the spread of the “ministry’s” control was unstoppable. The church in Dallas may not have been an open source of the kind of things that BlessD and Juliep speak, but it was used for them anyway by the hierarchy that surrounded you/us. You do not do yourself any favor by seeking to spare anyone or anyplace of inquiry.

Despite my statements elsewhere that the LC is a sound evangelical group with problems, here I say that those problems are so strong and high that there is little chance of saving it. (I hope that the GLA can prove me wrong.)

Truth is in Christ, not the LC. The LC has become corrupt. It began long ago, even before Benson visited Houston to shame Jane. Much of it was for so long hidden, even from you. But you began to see it some period before you left. It has continued to grow. It is time to open the gates of the LC and let the flock out of their captivity.

For those who revere Lee, it is time to stop. He may have brought much truth together in a way we had never seen it done before (at least in the 60s and 70s). But he mixed that truth with leaven. It has been chemically changed from pure truth to yeast-truth. You can no longer separate the two. You must start over. To do so does not require Lee or Nee, else you risk reintroducing the leaven you seek to expel.

Lee also brought much of the corruption upon himself through his money schemes which he mixed with the church, then in pushing his immoral son on the churches through the LSM and lying about those who sought to bring that shame to an end.

Unfortunately, that means that those wonderful, sweet, pure Christians are constantly being inundated with that leaven, to their detriment, and associated with the sins of their leaders by their silence, especially when they simply look the other way due to following the unbiblical teachings of deputy authority.

In another post you mentioned several names and family names to suggest that those could not be so corrupt and that they would not knowingly tolerate such corruption. You may be correct with respect to the 70s, but we are no longer sure that any of those are clearly not now corrupted at some level (although I'm fairly sure that some are not). In any case, there are several leading ones in the Texas region who were that corrupt at that time. Ignoring BP, I think that at least one of them was in Dallas from about 1975. Some of the others in those meetings may have merely been invited to observe the control that others could exert. I'm sure that it was effective.
01-17-2009 12:49 PM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by YP0534 View Post
As I recall, many of those who insisted that there be uniform acceptance of their idea that the Local Church experiences were uniformly a terror and a result of "idolatry" are the ones who up and left the discussion at the point that a consensus built against THEM (led mostly by Ohio, in my recollection).

I'm not sure who opposed the strictly negative idea of the Local Church and were "pretty much expelled and eliminated" for it, but perhaps someone can call them back to the fellowship? (I do miss Peter's portion terribly, I must admit, but I'm pretty sure he wasn't driven off by this.)
I hesitate to add anything to the discussion here, but ... my goal was and is still to provide a "fair and balanced" approach to LC/LSM topics. I am very sorry if I appeared to be the "leader" that caused many posters to leave. I do regret that I did appear to be an "enemy" of both sides, while trying to take what in my mind was the "middle ground." Most of all, I do regret the many friendships I thought I had made on this forum, because of differing viewpoints which we all held dearly, myself included. While I often protested making "broad brush generalizations," I myself am also guilty of the same fault.

This thread did highlight to me my very first impression when finding the LC forums in the summer of 2005, i.e. many dear saints were hurt by what I came to call "the program." More than any discussion in recent years, this thread caused my heart to ache. Many times I tried to stop posting, but then I would read another post, and found that I just had to respond. I remember many times my wife concluding to me, "why do you waste your time there?" Hers is a difficult question to answer. I don't have an answer, but for some reason, I'm still here.
01-17-2009 10:17 AM
YP0534
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
This thread is more of a presentation of an idea than anything else. All posters who have attempted to participate and not supported the idea that “the LSM/LC system was a uniform cultish group which controlled and damaged people and children" have been pretty much expelled and eliminated...

This thread has resulted in many leaving this forum because their portion was rejected because they were not in on a certain idea. Their testimony was disregarded. Yet if someone had a good horror story to tell about a local church elder or whatever, they are a hero or heroine. Think about it. Do some posters treat the other posters based on what is their point of view. The same persons have heralded ole Hope as wonderful as long as he is exposing Benson Phillips etc. but let him not agree with a certain negative view and he has reverted to a mean local church elder who wants to hush up the saints.

I have been told in no uncertain words that the forum is not the place to give balancing points of view. If you have the idea that “I must destroy the local churches right down to its roots in order to save as many of the innocents as I can,” well there is not much chance of having a dialogue.
In my estimation, this is a very peculiar construction of the history of this horrible thread, which is here for all to review if they dare and have much time.

As I recall, many of those who insisted that there be uniform acceptance of their idea that the Local Church experiences were uniformly a terror and a result of "idolatry" are the ones who up and left the discussion at the point that a consensus built against THEM (led mostly by Ohio, in my recollection).

In fact, it appears to me that those of us who remain active here are the ones who readily and reasonably concede our positive experiences in the context of having actually moved forward from that point.

I'm not sure who opposed the strictly negative idea of the Local Church and were "pretty much expelled and eliminated" for it, but perhaps someone can call them back to the fellowship? (I do miss Peter's portion terribly, I must admit, but I'm pretty sure he wasn't driven off by this.)
01-17-2009 09:15 AM
Paul Cox
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
Roger,

Your’s is a very good rebuttal to my very weak and faulty analogy.

Right on regarding the "idea" or "ideal" that messed up everything.

I certainly did not mean to come across as a defender of that system. Lord help us!!! But I cannot side with the idea that it is nothing but corruption and all the people there are worthless or of no value. I will come down on the damage that Max Rapoport caused but I will first tell of the positive things he did. I certainly appreciate the help in Christ I received from him.

It is an interesting phenomenon that among those still in the local churches, they cannot acknowledge that any former members or leaders had anything good but rather just write them out of their history. But I have seen some former member do the same thing, that is that those in the local churches and the current leaders are only corrupt and have never given them anything of Christ.

Don

Don,

I hope I have not left anyone with this impression: "nothing but corruption and all the people there are worthless or of no value." If I did, then it was not my intention.

The vast majority of the saints in the Living Stream Church are precious and sweet. There are a wide range of reasons why they are there. Some are there because they say they "see the vision." Some are there because they love the atmosphere. Others don't know themselves why they are there, and I would even imagine that there are a good number who are held there by fear, because they have fallen for LSM scare tactics. Nonetheless, they are all precious and sweet.

Also, the vast majority of the elders and deacons are precious and sweet. I can remember most of them with nothing but fondness.

Lest I be called a Lee hater, I must also say that I received tremendous help from the ministry of Witness Lee. That help comes at a high price, but...help nonetheless.

I guess all this should preface my statement that the system is rotten to the core.

BTW, I am an x devout Catholic. I have similar views concerning them.

Roger
01-17-2009 08:57 AM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by blessD View Post
I read this yesterday and wanted to respond, but took a day of break to meditate and pray about what to write. To this comment, "It would help if some names were clearly mentioned in this case and in the case involving BlessD", I would like to say, Hope, I sent you details of my story referenced on this forum in a private message and CCd Thankful Jane as a witness. I gave you details, names, places, and times. I do not wish to give those details publicly and believe reasonable persons would understand without me spelling it out.

I have no motive than to say the truth and talk to others about the journey of healing from such wounds. I know from other friends there were more than 2 instances of such things that went on. Those friends would not 'set foot' in this forum or anywhere else that the LC is discussed.

Honestly, I quit coming to the forum because of this type of response. It reminds me way too much of things I left far behind.


Dear Posters,
By the way, I have never referenced this incident except to respond to posts.

(By the way, am I allowed to respond or are certain personalities off limits. Please spell out who is in a safe zone. Sorry to bring it up but Phillip Lee had a safe zone. Benson Phillips had some brothers and sisters that were in a safe zone. With God there is no partiality. )

I have asked for details since these two “one of those meetings” have now been trumpeted as some type of proof case. Matt has used the title “shaming meetings.” Now we have an official practice. His mother’s book is launched from her rough treatment by Benson Phillips in what could be I suppose “a shaming meeting.”

It seems to me that these incidents are presented as critical to a particular evaluation of the local church movement.

I wonder how many teenage girls have been counseled by a Southern Baptist pastor who asked an associate to witness for his own protection. I never questioned that there was some kind of counseling sessions, and it seems they did not go well, but that is not how some have attempted to use the supposed “shaming meetings.”

Now here is the part from BlessD’s PM to me that supplied the details to put to rest the accuracy and fairness of the report attributed to her. She did identify herself and her parents and who she was living with in Houston. She identified the young boy she liked. She described the dining room in the “big house.” By the way the name big house was used to distinguish it from the tiny cottage on the property known as the “little house.” My memory is very good regarding that house. I was very much into the details when we purchased it and refurbished it. I also was the first resident. The dimensions of the dining room were 12x16. BlessD mentions going to a bed room to pray with her parents and some of the elders.There was a tiny bed room just past the living room which could be used for a single guest and had a couple of chairs for counseling etc.

The actual PM:
……..
"As eldership attendees go, Houston was there with at least 4 in attendance, Austin was there with at least 3-4 in attendance, OKC was there with 4-5 in attendance, Dallas was there with 3-5 in attendance, averaging 16 elders or representatives *altogether*. I believe Ron Kangus(sp) and family was resident to the home next to the hall. He may or may not have been present.
I believe what you say that you were not present and have written you the same *publicly*. I will be happy to write another public post making it clearer that I am agreement you were not there."

She later corrected the part about Ron Kangus as he has never lived in Dallas.

I am pretty well done with this. It is very difficult to address an “idea.” Some in the heart of the LSM/LC have an “idea” which they promote and defend. The term “recovery” is essentially an idea or ideal. Another “idea” is that of the one man of the age or the one oracle of the age. On the other forum there were defenders of “the idea.” They would come on and quote this and that from Witness Lee and essentially say, “You see, WL stood for the idea.” No evidence that the so called local churches or ministry had missed the mark in practice or teaching could be examined because WL clearly was for “the idea,” “the ideal.” Any action which did not support this ideal was bad and unacceptable behavior.

By way of illustration of this fact of human behavior and sociology, for you, Igzy, OBW and other poets and bards who post here, John Denver once sang out “Thank God I’m a country boy.” Sarah Palin repeatedly proclaimed that she had “small town values.” On the other hand that infamous Texas philosopher, Willy Nelson sang, “a cowboy ain’t nothing but a slow moving song.” By the way “Texas” is not so much a place but is an idea.

This thread is more of a presentation of an idea than anything else. All posters who have attempted to participate and not supported the idea that “the LSM/LC system was a uniform cultish group which controlled and damaged people and children have been pretty much expelled and eliminated.

I am glad I am not a country boy any longer. John Denver can have it. Living hard is not for me. My country girl sweetheart chewed tobacco and it sure does mess up the kissing. Just kidding. Never happened. It is just a little light motif. You can have the small town life. No problem if that is where you are but some of the nicest people I know live in Manhattan. (It is the tourists there that are rude.)

One of the huge problems with the local church movement, especially in the early days, was that so many brought in their “idea” of what they would like the Christian life to be. Jesus did say we need to deny our self. We had our “crucified life” crowd who quoted Jean Guyon and sought to make life miserable for everyone. John wrote clearly “Love not the World.” Some insisted that only those who dressed simply and lived a puritan life were growing spiritually. I personally like this one and an ascetic life. We had our “what is God doing in this age” crowd. They were on the move and wanted to be right in the center of whatever up-to-date revival was happening. We had the “I want to be the disciple of an apostle like Timothy to Paul.” James Barber was the greatest proponent of this idea. Some believed a committed group could move as one and save the world. Max Rapoport was one of the leaders of this group. There were lots of different “ideas.” Benson Phillip believed the Lord wanted to restore a federation of churches to a New Testament standard and send out a committed cadre that would reform Christianity. Some were “going to bring the Lord back.”

It is very difficult to simply have fellowship with the Father and the Son and one another when the brother or sister is deep into “the idea.” This thread has resulted in many leaving this forum because their portion was rejected because they were not in on a certain idea. Their testimony was disregarded. Yet if someone had a good horror story to tell about a local church elder or whatever, they are a hero or heroine. Think about it. Do some posters treat the other posters based on what is their point of view. The same persons have heralded ole Hope as wonderful as long as he is exposing Benson Phillips etc. but let him not agree with a certain negative view and he has reverted to a mean local church elder who wants to hush up the saints.

I have been told in no uncertain words that the forum is not the place to give balancing points of view. If you have the idea that “I must destroy the local churches right down to its roots in order to save as many of the innocents as I can,” well there is not much chance of having a dialogue.

I just read the book about Josh Hamilton, “Beyond Belief.” He went through eight rehab programs which all failed. His clear conclusion was that every place wanted him to blame his parents and he could not accept that therefore they could not help him.

On this thread, I have resisted the ideologues narrow prescriptions. I never went after Juliep or BlessD but they were utilized to support an idea. May we all bring these matters to the Lord and let His light shine.

Hope, Don Rutledge

A believer in Christ Jesus who is seeking to be a true disciple.
John 8:31-32, Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. " NASB

I have one more post for this thread which I may post later today. After that I plan to only read the thread from time to time and will note and consider any responses.
01-17-2009 08:46 AM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

Roger,

Your’s is a very good rebuttal to my very weak and faulty analogy.

Right on regarding the "idea" or "ideal" that messed up everything.

I certainly did not mean to come across as a defender of that system. Lord help us!!! But I cannot side with the idea that it is nothing but corruption and all the people there are worthless or of no value. I will come down on the damage that Max Rapoport caused but I will first tell of the positive things he did. I certainly appreciate the help in Christ I received from him.

It is an interesting phenomenon that among those still in the local churches, they cannot acknowledge that any former members or leaders had anything good but rather just write them out of their history. But I have seen some former member do the same thing, that is that those in the local churches and the current leaders are only corrupt and have never given them anything of Christ.

Don
01-17-2009 07:39 AM
Paul Cox
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
Dear Brother YP0534,
Now here is one of the problems with evaluating the Local Churches. An elder pulls a stunt in someplace USA. Real saints are stumbled and wounded. This story becomes a proof case for the state of the whole. Is this a proper evaluation? What do you think?
Were the child molesters in Boston in the Catholic church what you could expect in a Catholic church in Houston Texas? What if you found a pedophile in a Catholic high school in Houston? Case closed?
Case closed? I dunno.

You see, if you heard about child molestation in Boston and a couple of other places, you can be certain that there is the potential for child molestation in a Catholic church in Houston, or anywhere else. Why?

The Catholic Church creates an atmosphere for that kind of thing, starting with the hard line law of celibacy. Then they take these young men, who are trying to hold down a campfire with a cotton sheet, and put them in situations where they will be working alone with young altar boys, and wives of other men who absolutely adore their priests.

That right there is a prescription for disaster. It leaves open the possibility for all kinds of sexual abuse throughout the whole system, although it doesn’t take place throughout the system.

History records every kind of sexual abuse and perversion that can be imagined, having happened in the Catholic Church; because the leadership created that kind of atmosphere, starting with the first bright penny who got the idea that God was telling him that priests should be celibate.

The problem is that all priests throughout the whole system are absolutely loyal to the system. So when a priest in Boston abuses a child, he might be shuffled away somewhere secretly, with the hope that eventually all will be forgotten. And, although no priests in Houston might have ever been close to doing such a thing, they will defend, directly, or indirectly, the actions of the system.

I’m sorry, but your response to the report of abuse in the Local Church sounds so familiar. The “innocent” priest in Houston will insist that these are just isolated incidents, and that the system really is quite good. Actually, the system is rotten to the core. The tragedy is that you have these men who know nothing about the Holy Spirit, trying to tame the flesh with religious ordnances. It’s a recipe for disaster.

The Local Church created an atmosphere for abuse. The basic problem is reverence for the leadership. This starts with the number one, “Apostle for the Age,” and “Acting God.” Nowhere was the absolute reverence for Witness Lee stronger than among some of the Texas brothers. You have said as much in your book.

With this kind of reverence comes a sense, on the part of the followers, that Lee and his closest associates can do no wrong. On the part of the leadership, it makes them drunk with power. It makes them feel good, on some level, to have saints scraping and bowing at their every word.

It has been my observation that the root problem with the Living Stream Church is an improper view of, and a dying loyalty to Witness Lee. It would also appear that with many who have left, the LSM style problems that continue to hang on with them, is still their refusal to cast Witness Lee in the proper light.

Mind you, brother, I am not accusing you of anything. I respect your history, and have never heard anything out of order about you. But the system you are defending is ripe with potential for all kinds of abuse.

Roger
01-16-2009 08:19 PM
blessD
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
For the record: I was an elder in Dallas for 14 years. I was never in "one of those meetings" with a teenage girl and several elders. In fact I never heard of "one of those meetings" until I learned of "those meetings" here on the forum. Perhaps only these two are the only examples of "one of those meetings." Where did this one occur? I believe that Juliep was not in Dallas at age 18. It would help if some names were clearly mentioned in this case and in the case involving BlessD. It is totally unfair to make these broad general accusations. Earlier a description of George and Cleo Whitington was given. Why not declare or insinuate that this couple was the normal leading one in the Texas area. Maybe they are the typical example. Why insinuate that these mysterious unnamed men represent the sum of the elders and "one of those meetings" is typical? NOT MY EXPERIENCE!!! Please relate things as unique to yourself and do not imply such poor behavior was normal and broad.

Don Rutledge
I read this yesterday and wanted to respond, but took a day of break to meditate and pray about what to write. To this comment, "It would help if some names were clearly mentioned in this case and in the case involving BlessD", I would like to say, Hope, I sent you details of my story referenced on this forum in a private message and CCd Thankful Jane as a witness. I gave you details, names, places, and times. I do not wish to give those details publicly and believe reasonable persons would understand without me spelling it out.

I have no motive than to say the truth and talk to others about the journey of healing from such wounds. I know from other friends there were more than 2 instances of such things that went on. Those friends would not 'set foot' in this forum or anywhere else that the LC is discussed.

Honestly, I quit coming to the forum because of this type of response. It reminds me way too much of things I left far behind.
01-16-2009 06:27 PM
finallyprettyokay
Re: The LCS Factor

Ahhhh ---- Shucks.
01-16-2009 06:20 PM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

Finallyprettyokay,

Thanks for the post. My heart is warmed. I sincerely desire that we can put all this behind us.

I do remember your kind post. May the Lord bless and remember you for your kindness to a brother who had failed.

I am going to make one more post on this topic and then I am probably saying goodbye to this thread except for reading the responses to my final post.

I look forward to seeing you on another thread. I would love to meet you in person some time.

In Christ Jesus,

Hope, Don Rutledge
01-16-2009 05:21 PM
finallyprettyokay
Re: The LCS Factor

Well, I admit I was touchy when I wrote. So far, I am not feeling too much grief and embarrassment. Yet.

Quote:
I will refer to a second case, which I brought out into the open, that is the fathom church in Dallas bank account used to transfer Living Stream Money to disgruntled Daystar investors. I told exactly how I learned of it's existence and exactly who was involved. Thus, George Whitington, Don Looper, Joe Davis, Ray Graver, Tim House, Jim Coleman etc were not by mere association with the local churches in Texas implicated. I received several hot posts and messages about how stupid, incompetent, unqualified, weak, blind and conscienceless I was. I admitted all charges were true and I deserved the approbation. The blame came to the rightful person, yours truly. But I could have said that the church in Dallas was in on a money laundering type scheme and let the entire congregation or at least all the elders and maybe some deacons be condemned.
Don, I remember quite well when you wrote about Daystar/money. I was so moved by your sense of contrition. I PMed you and then decided to post what I had written -- do you remember? I had no idea that you had been getting 'hot posts and messages' --- that was certainly not what I wrote to you. It never even occured to me to question your experience, or your present response to that experience.

Mistakes? Boy howdy. I've made more than a few, and there are things from my LC time that I regret. And things happened to me or around me that were not at all right. People humilated and shamed in small ways or in big ways. It was a very toxic place.

Quote:
Dear sister, you referred to your time in San Diego. Suppose someone had told you that the elders in groups of 6-7 or more were hauling in young teenage girls to interrogate and humiliate them would you have been a little shocked and wondering if the report was at least a little over the top.
I was in San Diego also. If someone related a story like this to me I think I would wonder about it. Of course I would. But what I know for sure is that we all have done things that seemed okay at the time, but that we just didn't think through. My mom was always saying to me 'think!'. Sometimes I still get caught not thinking something through. So if someone told me this story and it involved people I knew to be good, decent, God-loving people, I would wonder if they had thought it through. And I would wonder if the young person in the story had recovered pretty well from it.

I think Roger hit it when he said your tone seemed to imply that you didn't believe her. And he hit it when he said he believes you both. Exactly.

And my guess is that anyone that was involved in such a meeting with a young person looks back with contrition. I hope so. It was a very very toxic place and really bad things (large and small) happened to people, but still -- mostly, we were good people trying to follow God. Let's try to understand and support each other as we share and make sense out of things that happened.

Not-Touchy-Enough, Igzy? I hope. No, Don's hope. I'm

finallyprettyokay sorta okay?
01-16-2009 05:16 PM
YP0534
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
On the other hand, can you condemn all fathers in all places because of a few child abusers.
OK but see, that's really nothing to do with my illustration.

It's OK though. Don't worry about it.

I'm really just suggesting that ALL of us are hurt because SOME of us are hurt and ALL of those with responsibility (including maybe me) end up bearing SOME responsibility.

From my perspective, it's not really even relevant to say "I didn't know."

Still, obviously no one can be required to entertain anything other than the formal indictments against elders in accordance with proper scriptural precepts!

I'm not really comfortable even going there with regard to what happened to me personally, similar to what others have testified to, so the likelihood of satisfactory proof of such things remains slim. And the expectation that the walking wounded who have had their reputations publicly smeared will muster what it takes to proceed through formal channels with the very people who have wounded and smeared (or their compatriots) is totally unrealistic to me. But perhaps one day two or three will stand together against an oppressive elder as you envision and not be shunned for their rebellion.

They will certainly be far more transformed than I am if they can do it!

Anyhow, if the father next door never addresses or even notices my bruises, it's not his fault at all.

You are right about that.
01-16-2009 04:00 PM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by YP0534 View Post
Well, then, let me ask you to speak to this, Hope.

Isn't frequency of occurrence an irrelevant consideration if everyone is endeavoring in fear to minimize the frequency?

If my father thrashes me mercilessly with a belt until I am black and blue, though he does that only once, and I remain rightly terrified of it happening again because of subtle threats of a recurrence, is my younger brother unreasonable in concluding that this is a "norm?"

And more to the point of what I think gets you motivated on this topic, does my mother unreasonably bear some semblance of responsibilty in the eyes of my younger brother for the situation continuing, even though I lied to her when she asked me about where the bruises came from?

I know you can't prove a negative, Hope, and I don't ask you to do so.

I just wonder if you agree with my way of viewing such matters.

I admit I might be wrong and I've taken your correction before.

Thank you.
Dear Brother YP0534,

The hypothetical father you described bears a lot of responsibility for how he disciplined the son. I do not know if you are a father but it is an awesome responsibility. Your children may be helped a little by consistent excellent parenting and then you can blow years by one bad day. Once the abuse has been administered, it seldom is forgotten. The siblings also are greatly influenced by the one bad day. But as a parent you can not give up. God is merciful.

Now what about your parallel to an elder or leading brother who abuses one of the sheep. Scary!! Consider the following verses:

James 3:1, Let not many of you become teachers , my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgment.

1 Thess 5:12-14, But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, 13 and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. 14 And we urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all men.

Heb 13:7-8, Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.

Heb 13:17, Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. NASB

A brother seems to be much better off if he never has any kind of leadership or responsibility. Consider the very very high standard for a leader, "And we urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all men." Too often I fear I was found encouraging the unruly, admonishing and discouraging the fainthearted, hindering the weak and being frustrated with all.

Now here is one of the problems with evaluating the Local Churches. An elder pulls a stunt in someplace USA. Real saints are stumbled and wounded. This story becomes a proof case for the state of the whole. Is this a proper evaluation? What do you think?

Were the child molesters in Boston in the Catholic church what you could expect in a Catholic church in Houston Texas? What if you found a pedophile in a Catholic high school in Houston? Case closed?

What if we discovered that some poster, maybe me, was a little loose with the facts in order to make his point. Do we throw out the entire forum and further does this allow the BB's to dismiss all who protest their practices?

Over the years there were many storms in the LSM/LC. In every storm there were very sincere, pure brothers and sisters who protested some damaging practice. At the same time, there were some unruly ones who seemed to see this as an opportunity for whatever motive they had. The LSM would throw the genuine protestors into the same bucket as the disorderly ones and use this to discredit any protest. Thus, I am compelled not to be loose when building a proof case of abuse and error.

On the other hand, can you condemn all fathers in all places because of a few child abusers. I once heard a radical, man hating, woman’s libber declare that every father was a potential child molester. Maybe she had had a negative experience or her best friend had had an abusive father. Then does that make it all right for her to make such a sweeping accusation. That charge did lodge in my brain. Sometimes I will be in a wonderful couples home and the children will be frolicking with the dad and that terrible hateful charge will come to my mind.

I need to stop here. Thanks for the post and the set up illustration.

Hope, Don Rutledge
01-16-2009 03:47 PM
Cal
Re: The LCS Factor

Looking at these posts it sounds like a big misunderstanding to me.

Remember Igzy's #1 Rule of Message Boards, it will save you lot of grief and embarrassment. It is...

Don't... Get... Touchy

Now, if anyone posts, "Who are you calling touchy? I wasn't getting touchy," I'm going to shoot them.
01-16-2009 03:01 PM
djohnson
Re: The LCS Factor

Like most former elders of the LCS it is apparent that Hope has never left it in mind and heart and probably not bodily if his church in Raleigh is anything like the other LCS spin offs.

The argument that you can't paint everything with a broad brush is frivilous. A mere red herring. Everybody with any degree of intellegeince knows that a system like LCS will contain both good and bad elements. What Hope is denying is that certain things took place in the place where he was. Either Hope is lying or those reporting it are lying. Or Hope is claiming ignorance of the events in question. And if he did not know they took place that does not = that they did not take place only that he was ignorant of it. But knowing the track record the LCS and its leaders can anyone really think that such abuse of the young is outside the realm of the very possible nay the very probable?
01-16-2009 02:24 PM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
Hey, Ohio,

In the summer in Arizona they tell me "but it is a dry heat." I have heard from the Great Lakes "but it is a fresh cold."

By the way, Where is Al Gore when we need him?
I have never heard the term "a fresh cold" about the weather we are having ... and I have been to Arizona many times hiking in the Catalina mountains and sweating like crazy! Who makes up these expressions anyways?

And, btw, Al Gore is here! He invented the internet forum didn't he?
01-16-2009 01:38 PM
Terry
The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by juliep View Post
My guess is most of the adults in that time period may not know what we are talking about, as kids go through experiences and share things among themselves that the adults around them are not privy too.This will be the only time I respond to an accusation like this, and if thats the kind of thing that goes on in this forum - I'm out. I thought it was a safe place we could share our experiences...
I was a high schooler 1983-1986. There was an incident I was witness to. One of my peers was the direct receiver. To this day I do not know if he ever told his parents what happened to him.
At different times many of us encounter experiences that makes one think "where did that come from?". As a teenager I was taught to submit to your elder. Even if I thought the elder brother or the elder sister was out of line, it was I who needed to submit.

Terry
01-16-2009 01:35 PM
countmeworthy
Re: The LCS Factor

[QUOTE=Hope;5269]
Quote:
Actually I did welcome Julie to the forum. Here is the private message I sent her on 1/07/09.
Now Don. I am working on attaining the MIND of CHRIST but...I haven't attained to the level of reading PMs supernaturally! Did you welcome her publicly on this forum? If you did, I missed it...and I apologize in advance.

Quote:
I did acknowledge that she had been hurt by a prominent leading one, namely James Barber whom she referred to.
I was more concerned with this statement you made:

Quote:
For the record: I was an elder in Dallas for 14 years. I was never in "one of those meetings" with a teenage girl and several elders. In fact I never heard of "one of those meetings" .... NOT MY EXPERIENCE!!!
She never said YOU were in those meetings. Your response came across (to me) as if you were defending yourself. You had nothing to defend. You were not there and again...she was not accusing you or reminding you that you were.

Now. Go give your wife another hug.
01-16-2009 01:23 PM
countmeworthy
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
By the way, Where is Al Gore when we need him?
He's re-defining 'Global Warming' as 'Climate Change'.
01-16-2009 12:52 PM
OBW
Re: The LCS Factor

I started a response to this but had to go back to working for a while. Now I find that much of what I said has been said by others. My own comment to Don that has not been said thoroughly I will leave as it was.

Don: This means that everything could be happening just as they say, even more often that you knew. You seem to rush to protest too quickly. I do not doubt what you are saying. But it comes off more like ducking when the casual observer might expect someone with the character they see from you elsewhere to come and provide consolation without digging into the hurt of the issue. There is probably some value in eventually getting some idea who the perpetrators of these debacles was because it might provide some insight into the workings of the dichotomy of the eldership in Dallas, as well as other cities. If you truly are innocent of these things (and I generally believe you when you say you are) you were surrounded by others who managed to do great harm right under your nose.

Having said that to Don, I say to all that while I am no more than about 5 years older than Juliep, I was unaware of these kinds of things as what happened to Julie and BlessD. And if it had been something that was being spoken of outside of the actual participants, I probably would have eventually heard. (I must confess that despite what so many said about my Mom at her funeral, she was very strongly opinionated, and also a little bit of a gossip, although generally only within the family. So if there was anything that got to her ears in any way, shape or form, I would eventually hear at least something about it, even if vague and thirteenth hand.)

What seems to be missed is that Matt made essentially as rash a statement as Don might have seemed to make. To come here and state that he is going to dictate how some discussion will be continued is quite interesting. Unless he has moderator privileges that have not been made public, I’m not sure what he means by his statements. While we may say that Don has protested in a poor way, I also say that Matt has interjected himself in such an authoritarian way as to be acting similar to the elders he seeks to chastise. That kind of attitude was prevalent in the earlier portions of this discussion. I thought we left that kind of authoritarian bully pulpit when we left the LC. Matt, your objectivity was damaged by this thread. You really need to do something to correct that. Not for us, but for yourself. You seemed as hard-pressed to get everyone, especially the church in Dallas, at least as much as you accuse Don of trying to say every place was not the same.

There are two issues in the stories told by Julie and BlessD. First, there is a hurt that may or may not be healed. We should be careful that we do not trample them as we rush off to judge the perpetrators. The second issue is the perpetrators and the ways in which they operated. It is reasonable to try to discover more of the facts behind these stories. Unfortunately, those facts will likely be revealed only by the very ones who are hurt by the process. So we need to be careful how we ask. Whether or not an accurate assessment, in the case of BlessD, there was some concern that requests for details sounded more like attempts to disprove the story. Assuming that was not the case, it does point to our inability to act with compassion. Ever watch one of those TV crime shows like Law and Order where the husband or wife of someone just murdered across town is asked some rather pointed questions by the detectives? Sometimes it is clear that they should have either phrased it differently, or waited a little bit before asking. How often does the way the question is asked sound as if they are accusing the deceased of “asking for it?”

I just poked a stick at a couple of friends in public. (And they, or others, may consider this to be a rather pompous attitude to take.) But they were not entirely alone in any of what has gone on before. They were just the ones to speak up this time. In some ways, both are right and both are wrong. I pray that this is taken in the attitude in which it is offered.
01-16-2009 12:29 PM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
We are here freezing with neg 20 - 30 deg windchills.

A-froz-a from Ohio to you too.
Hey, Ohio,

In the summer in Arizona they tell me "but it is a dry heat." I have heard from the Great Lakes "but it is a fresh cold."

Don Rutledge

By the way, Where is Al Gore when we need him?
01-16-2009 12:21 PM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by countmeworthy View Post
Hello Hope,
I hate getting into these types of discussions...but since you asked 'for it' I'd like to share a couple of my observations in a KIND but yet admonishing way.

1) Could you NOT have WELCOMED JulieP FIRST to the forum? Where are your manners dear brother!!!

2) She didn't ACCUSE YOU of being in the meeting she was in ! Maybe it happened before you were an elder OR maybe the other elders never told you about it.

I don't KNOW but you don't need to get soo defensive if meetings like this didn't involve YOU. If she had accused you of being in that meeting and you weren't then you have every right to speak up.
Take it at face value. It happened to them and you weren't involved nor were you told about it.

Btw, my experience in San Diego was not bad..but if someone told me they had meetings with the elders there while I was there and their experience was not good, my heart would go out to the person. It STILL would not change my experience.

Otherwise, take it at face value. It happened to them and you weren't involved or told about it.

Now. Go hug your wife !
Countmeworthy, You are a real hoot, "Go hug your wife!" I am on my way as soon as I finish this response.

Actually I did welcome Julie to the forum. Here is the private message I sent her on 1/07/09. The family letter we receive comes from her mother.

Julie,

It was a pleasant surprise to see your postings. We get your family letter every Christmas from Ann. We enjoy reading it.

I will always have good memories of your family and I hope you are well and happy.

In Christ Jesus,
Don Rutledge

I did acknowledge that she had been hurt by a prominent leading one, namely James Barber whom she referred to.

Here is what I said.
Quote:
I just learned of matters where he hurt Juliep. I am so sorry for that. Juliep, I never knew a thing. I knew that James and his best buddy in Dallas did not like your parents and hurt them on occasion. I am glad to learn that you seem to be doing well.
I also acknowledged her being hurt in a private message. When I saw her initial post, I was informed by another poster that she had been hurt by James and Gene Deberry. That is all I know about any from a local church treating her poorly. I did ask her in a PM if she could tell me where this "one of those meeting" occurred and who was there.

Here is her post I responded to.
Quote:
I just finished reading through the previous posts and found all the arguing about what happened in Dallas with the elders interesting. I also was called into one of those meetings at the age of 18 to be confronted alone and with about 6 or 7 elders and no parent present. The elders requested a very detailed accounting of my behavior with another young person in the LC, which I look upon as pretty perverse behavior now that I am an adult. (A young girl alone in a room full of males.) Luckily, it occurred to me pretty soon thereafter, that I was an adult at 18 and didn't have to answer to the "elders" anymore. Just mentioning this incident as backup to what the other young sister experienced.
Dear sister, you referred to your time in San Diego. Suppose someone had told you that the elders in groups of 6-7 or more were hauling in young teenage girls to interrogate and humiliate them would you have been a little shocked and wondering if the report was at least a little over the top. So far I cannot come to any other conclusion. Please see my earlier post about 1 Timothy chapter five and bringing accusations against an elder.

I am very serious about my time here on the forum and am a little bit of a stickler for accuracy and not accusing the innocent. Elders deserve fair consideration just as much as a dear precious young sister. I will defend the young sister. But I will not fire from the hip at elders who ever they may be.

Thanks again for your push back. It is a wonderful thing that we can dialogue and learn together.

In Christ Jesus,
Hope, Don Rutledge
01-16-2009 11:57 AM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by juliep View Post
Aloha from Hawaii!
Yeah, juliep, just rub it in. We are here freezing with neg 20 - 30 deg windchills.

A-froz-a from Ohio to you too.
01-16-2009 11:39 AM
juliep
Re: The LCS Factor

Last response to this post by Hope. I lived in Arlington at age 18, but was still going to meetings in Dallas (actually playing guitar, although I wasn't that good). I was a freshman in college at UTA. I am indeed relating incidents and experiences unique to myself! And when talking about George and Cleo I am speaking about them on a personal, practical level not as representatives of the LC. Maybe its time to not have such an attachment to what or who everyone used to be in the LC. Life has moved on and those positions and authorities no longer exist. Everyone here is now just a person. I'm not going to get pulled into arguing on this forum - this is the last time I will respond to this kind of stuff ( and stuff is what it is) my life has moved on for the most part and I dont have such an emotional attachment to put time and effort into arguing about this stuff.
Looking to find my fellow childhood friends, and hopefully we can start emailing. Aloha from Hawaii!
01-16-2009 11:33 AM
Ohio
The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by YP0534 View Post
That is another wrinkle, Ohio, but it does correlate with what I mean to say.

You could even add another layer in that you and the younger brother didn't have to fear the dad while the older brother was around.
I thought about that, but it mostly never happened. I have never seen one brother protest public abuses on behalf of another. Maybe it happened, but I never saw it. I have heard of some, however, who "resisted politely."

Mostly, I was trying to portray the scenario that two people with different backgrounds, though they were in the same environment, would be treated differently, and hence have different observations to report.

For example, one of the brothers I served with as deacons was a champion fighter. He got his too, but was not treated as badly as I. I wonder why.
01-16-2009 11:32 AM
Paul Cox
Re: The LCS Factor

Hi, Brother Don,

I think it's just that the tone of your response to Juliep seem to imply that what she was saying couldn't possibly be true. But I can fully understand your not wanting to be associated with the scene she described. I mean 6 or 7 grown men locked up in a room with a teenager, wanting to know the details of her encounter with a young man. How creepy is that?

Anyway, I was not part of that situation, being in another Texas city at the time. So I'm just an objective observer. As such I can only say that I believe the both of you. I can't conceive of accusing either of you of bearing false witness.

Yes, there is hope for all of us. My eyes water to think of it.
your brother


Roger
01-16-2009 11:27 AM
juliep
The LCS Factor

Dont know how to quote the post I am responding to but this is about Hope actually saying he doubts what I posted earlier about my experience with some of the elders in Dallas really happened. How ridiculous. I have better things to do as an adult 46 year old woman than try to make up things from way back then. Of course it happened, and if that hurts someones feelings I'm sorry, but truth is truth.
I kept the post fairly vague on purpose so as not to accuse anyone in particular because I'm not here to for that purpose. I'm trying to find the other kids who were around at the time I was (long time ago - late 60's to early 80's). My guess is most of the adults in that time period may not know what we are talking about, as kids go through experiences and share things among themselves that the adults around them are not privy too.This will be the only time I respond to an accusation like this, and if thats the kind of thing that goes on in this forum - I'm out. I thought it was a safe place we could share our experiences...
01-16-2009 11:14 AM
countmeworthy
Re: The LCS Factor

Hello Hope,
I hate getting into these types of discussions...but since you asked 'for it' I'd like to share a couple of my observations in a KIND but yet admonishing way.

1) Could you NOT have WELCOMED JulieP FIRST to the forum? Where are your manners dear brother!!!

2) She didn't ACCUSE YOU of being in the meeting she was in ! Maybe it happened before you were an elder OR maybe the other elders never told you about it.

I don't KNOW but you don't need to get soo defensive if meetings like this didn't involve YOU. If she had accused you of being in that meeting and you weren't then you have every right to speak up.
Take it at face value. It happened to them and you weren't involved nor were you told about it.

Btw, my experience in San Diego was not bad..but if someone told me they had meetings with the elders there while I was there and their experience was not good, my heart would go out to the person. It STILL would not change my experience.

Otherwise, take it at face value. It happened to them and you weren't involved or told about it.

Now. Go hug your wife !
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
For the record: I was an elder in Dallas for 14 years. I was never in "one of those meetings" with a teenage girl and several elders. In fact I never heard of "one of those meetings" until I learned of "those meetings" here on the forum. Perhaps only these two are the only examples of "one of those meetings." Where did this one occur? I believe that Juliep was not in Dallas at age 18. It would help if some names were clearly mentioned in this case and in the case involving BlessD. It is totally unfair to make these broad general accusations. Earlier a description of George and Cleo Whitington was given. Why not declare or insinuate that this couple was the normal leading one in the Texas area. Maybe they are the typical example. Why insinuate that these mysterious unnamed men represent the sum of the elders and "one of those meetings" is typical? NOT MY EXPERIENCE!!! Please relate things as unique to yourself and do not imply such poor behavior was normal and broad.

Don Rutledge
01-16-2009 11:02 AM
Paul Cox
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Roger and all,

Igzy got the facts right, and the words pretty right (if not right on).

Don: While you may not really know who the Moody Blues are, there is a least one song that you probably have heard — Nights in White Satin. I might find one or two others you have heard, like Tuesday Afternoon. Both were from 1967.

They are still performing til this day, often with orchestras. I like the music, and while there are probably things to be said about some of the lyrics, they did have a "philosophy" that represents much of man's seeking. While it did not help them find Christ, it did speak to man's hopes, dreams, doubts, and even fantasies. Sometimes the idea of "knowing the times" can be aided by knowing the writings of the modern poets and philosophers.

In any case, the "by line" tells about me. I spend a lot of time in my thinking. But no matter how certain I appear at times, I understand that I may just be "thinking."
I often like to listen to "Dust in the Wind," by Kansas. My wife will sometimes put it on loop while working in the kitchen. That's a gospel message right there.

I know someone locally who told his mom that if he ever died before her, he wanted her to play it at his funeral. Little did he know that he would die just a few years later in a tragic accident. It spoke to many a young heart, at a time when they were being reminded that life doesn't just go on forever.

One time when I was going through a particularly difficult time, several years ago, the Lord spoke to me through the song by Bette Midler, "The Rose." I know, not very "spiritual," huh?

What spoke to me was that no matter how hard and long the winter, somewhere beneath that deep snow is a seed that will in the spring become a rose.

Roger
01-16-2009 10:51 AM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

Hello fpo,

Quote:
Originally Posted by finallyprettyokay View Post
When I read Hope's most recent posts concerning juliep's post, my first thought was 'here we go again'. I was stunned, also. But for different reasons, I think. Once again are we going to examine someone's experience, attacking? Hope, I understand that you don't want to see people you cared about having insinuations addressed at them. Here's the fact: I think most of us reading wouldn't even know who those people were, if their names were given. And no one has ever suggested that you were there in that meeting. It seems that we just believe you when you tell us you weren't there. Could you believe the sisters that tell us their experiences?

On the other hand, Hope, it feels like you are really free to throw out Max's name as the source of so much wrong. What a double standard.

Juliep, thanks for posting. It takes a lot of bravery sometimes to post here. It does for me.

Lots of people were treated very badly lots of times. It was not good.

fpo

In an earlier post, I mentioned,
Quote:
I would propose that we consider the pains, sufferings, stumblings and damages and disillusionments from at least five directions. 1. What was the role of wrong or defective teachings and practices in the local church movement? 2. How much of the pain was caused by plain old human failure or incompetence? 3. What role did the individuals play and what about each person’s own responsibility? Of course, this will vary from case to case. 4. We are dealing with Spiritual matters and we are not ignorant of the schemes of the devil. The devil is seeking someone to devour and accuses the saints night and day. We do have an enemy. 5. As the Psalmist says, life is like the sea seldom at rest. We will all experience disappointments and trouble. I have had bad professors. I have had coaches who did not do things in a fair way. Same with bosses. Same with clients. Same with neighbors. ETC. Some parents have miserable lives after age 35 because of bad children. It does cut both ways. How we react to the troubles that come is a big matter.
Please note my third criterion. It is very important to make cases specific and not throw everyone under the bus. On the other forum, I addressed several specific instances of abuse and error which I considered to be important in evaluating the LSM/LC movement. In all cases I was very specific. In one I referred to a case of a prominent leader who had a moral problem. I named the five men who failed to properly deal with the matter. I was one of the five. Thus, no one could cast aspersion on George Whitington, or Tim House or Lusby Kirk or Robert Raye or Clem Rogers, or Jim Coleman etc. I could have said several elders from several local churches in the Texas region made the unscriptural decision to let a fellow elder go regarding immorality and then covered it up. Had I taken that route, about all you could say is "Don Rutledge is a man without a conscience" and "how unrighteous!" Because I was very specific, innocent brothers were spared and the real culprits could be brought to account, including me. I was sent some very strong admonitions regarding my failure and the eventual consequences for my unfaithfulness. I received many urgings to make amends and repent. I deserved them all and received them as from the Lord.

I will refer to a second case, which I brought out into the open, that is the fathom church in Dallas bank account used to transfer Living Stream Money to disgruntled Daystar investors. I told exactly how I learned of it's existence and exactly who was involved. Thus, George Whitington, Don Looper, Joe Davis, Ray Graver, Tim House, Jim Coleman etc were not by mere association with the local churches in Texas implicated. I received several hot posts and messages about how stupid, incompetent, unqualified, weak, blind and conscienceless I was. I admitted all charges were true and I deserved the approbation. The blame came to the rightful person, yours truly. But I could have said that the church in Dallas was in on a money laundering type scheme and let the entire congregation or at least all the elders and maybe some deacons be condemned.

It is a very serious matter to bring charges against the Lord's children and against any in leadership. 1 Tim 5:19-20, Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses. Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also may be fearful of sinning. Please note the very specific parameters here. The charge is against the specific elder. It has the basis of two or three witnesses. Only those who continue in sin are to be rebuked in the presence of all. Paul does not exhort the church to accept all charges leveled so that wounded saints can be healed and to condemn all elders so that all will be thoroughly and forever scandalized.

Have you ever noticed the verses immediately before the above admonition. 1 Tim 5:17-18, Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing," and "The laborer is worthy of his wages." I greatly appreciated two items of juliep's posts. She gave credit to George Whitington and his wife Cleo. She referred specifically to James Barber as a source of her pain. I have acknowledged my agreement with her on both points based on my own experience. But I cannot acknowledge that which I do not know and simply accept any and every charge against the whole blame lot of local churchers and all who have labored among them. There should be more witnesses and confirmation. If asking for that is "denial," then we need the Lord's mercy to rescue us from our self delusion. Could it be that excising verses 17 & 18 from the elder accusing verses is "denial." When you consider the LC factor, is only the bad and ugly allowed not the good, bad and the ugly. The BBs only allow the good and their witness has very little credibility. Some critics of the LSM/LC only allow the bad and ugly and seem to be guilty of the denial charge they may level at others.

Don Rutledge

PS FPO, Matt and all my friends and Christian brothers and sisters, please feel free to let me have it. I can use all the help I can get. I love you for being so open. It is a good thing to be able to dialogue. Thank you all for reading and responding and allowing me to participate in this forum.

There is Hope for us all.
01-16-2009 10:14 AM
Paul Cox
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Mike makes a good point that the concept of "getting more God" is misleading and perhaps just plain wrong.

When we really sense the Lord's presence in us it does seem like we have "more" of God. But really, what is happening is that we are getting personally closer to God, and so are more aware of Him. The slang of getting more God is understandable, but it also illustrates again the diversion of the LC view of contacting God versus that of most serious Christians.

The LC saw experiences of God as experiences of his substance--His life, nature and Spirit--which you could get more of, like drinking more milk, which lent to an oddly impersonal personal relationship with Him. Most serious Christians see God as a spiritual personality with whom they can grow in relationship with, as thus become more aware of personally.

This growing sense of God's presence can give the impression one has more God, but probably what has really happened is that God has more of you.
The Local Church people will insist that they are not a religion. However, one of the clearest evidence that a group has gone the way of religion is their drift towards works. This concept of "getting more of God dispensed into your being" has altogether to do with works.

You are right Igzy. We do not get more of God, we simply draw closer to Him. We have already received the all of God that we are going to receive. We cannot go to the dispenser and pump more into us.

Why do I say works? Well this idea of "God's dispensation" (as in dispensing, like a dispenser) leads to having to do something to get more of God. If you "call on the Lord" more, you will get more of God. If you "prayread" more, you will get more of God. If you go to all the meetings, you will get more of God than some who choose to miss some meetings, and so on, and so forth.

I can remember being in the Catholic Church with this kind of mentality. If I do more Novenas, I will be more pleasing to God. If I say more rosaries, I will score more brownie points with God. If I give to the foreign missions, and go to mass faithfully, and...so on, and so forth.

Remember this? If you do all that is expected of you, you are a "good brother," or sister. If you are found wanting, "Oh, brother you need to..."

Roger
01-16-2009 10:12 AM
finallyprettyokay
Re: The LCS Factor

When I read Hope's most recent posts concerning juliep's post, my first thought was 'here we go again'. I was stunned, also. But for different reasons, I think. Once again are we going to examine someone's experience, attacking? Hope, I understand that you don't want to see people you cared about having insinuations addressed at them. Here's the fact: I think most of us reading wouldn't even know who those people were, if their names were given. And no one has ever suggested that you were there in that meeting. It seems that we just believe you when you tell us you weren't there. Could you believe the sisters that tell us their experiences?

On the other hand, Hope, it feels like you are really free to throw out Max's name as the source of so much wrong. What a double standard.

Juliep, thanks for posting. It takes a lot of bravery sometimes to post here. It does for me.

Lots of people were treated very badly lots of times. It was not good.

fpo
01-16-2009 08:06 AM
YP0534
The LCS Factor

That is another wrinkle, Ohio, but it does correlate with what I mean to say.

You could even add another layer in that you and the younger brother didn't have to fear the dad while the older brother was around.
01-16-2009 07:21 AM
Terry
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt View Post
juliep, If you get bothered (as I am right now) by Hope's posts and need some help on this thread, feel free to let me know...
Matt, I am really stunned by your post. I don't doubt the experiences of BlessD, JulieP and others. It is rare, but it does happen. Problem is there is no check & balance. I also don't doubt Hope when he says it's not his experience. I never got the sense Hope was trying to make "his corner of the LC was somehow much better than other places."

Terry
01-16-2009 07:11 AM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt View Post
By the way: The fact that local eldership was constantly overridden and usurped was not a unique situation. It was and still is pervasive throughout the LC system.
The irony of both Matt's post and Hope's recent posts here and on the "Baptist" thread is this: they appear at odds at first, but I do believe that both are providing fair and accurate assessments. The differences lie in who the "reporter" is and what the "reporter" has witnessed.

For example, my childhood and my LC experiences brought me face to face with some awfully painful times of bullying and abuse. I have watched churches being devastated by it. Not always, of course, and there were times of exceeding great joy, but my final days in the LC reintroduced me to the topic again and again.

SpeakersCorner, on the other hand, who has a similar tenure as me in the GLA churches, sees things differently, and understandably so. Our upbringings, our characters, and our experiences are both different, so one would also expect our views on many details would differ too.

I do hope we could understand this phenomena as we begin to address this topic once again. I know I have a lot to learn, and tolerance, kindness, sympathy, forbearance, and understanding are among those at the top. Perhaps my best help in this arena comes from my wife. Being forced to listen to her extremely different views about the exact same event, has forced me on countless occasions to realize that other people can see things differently.
01-16-2009 06:44 AM
Ohio
The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by YP0534 View Post

If my father thrashes me mercilessly with a belt until I am black and blue, though he does that only once, and I remain rightly terrified of it happening again because of subtle threats of a recurrence, is my younger brother unreasonable in concluding that this is a "norm?"
YP, let me add a twist to your hypothetical. Suppose you had an older brother who was a beloved star athlete whom nobody messed with, let alone your dad. He would never know the fear that you or younger brother knew. Bully types tend to pick on those who are more vulnerable. I may be talking hypotheticals here, but these are real people I am thinking of.
01-16-2009 06:30 AM
Matt Anderson
Re: The LCS Factor

juliep,

If you get bothered (as I am right now) by Hope's posts and need some help on this thread, feel free to let me know at mattandersondc@gmail.com.

I'll be glad to help make some room for your point of view to be fully expressed on this thread without feeling like Hope is going to be able to shape the idea that his corner of the LC was somehow much better than other places. You may be completely fine on your own, so it is just an offer.

Let's all keep in mind that, Don, as an elder in his corner of the LC (his locality), wasn't even aware of various kinds of serious church discipline happening right beneath his nose until he came onto this forum.

This is what most call denial. It's very hard and frustrating to deal with others who are in denial and it usually takes some assistance from others. I'll be glad to help. I'll keep my tone and approach above board.

Matt

By the way: The fact that local eldership was constantly overriden and usurped was not a unique situation. It was and still is pervasive throughout the LC system.
01-16-2009 03:56 AM
YP0534
The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
I have witnessed individual elders abuse individual brothers or sisters. I have heard of such instances. These were very rare before the late 70s and were the actions of a very few persons. This should not have happen but it was not the norm.
Well, then, let me ask you to speak to this, Hope.

Isn't frequency of occurrence an irrelevant consideration if everyone is endeavoring in fear to minimize the frequency?

If my father thrashes me mercilessly with a belt until I am black and blue, though he does that only once, and I remain rightly terrified of it happening again because of subtle threats of a recurrence, is my younger brother unreasonable in concluding that this is a "norm?"

And more to the point of what I think gets you motivated on this topic, does my mother unreasonably bear some semblance of responsibilty in the eyes of my younger brother for the situation continuing, even though I lied to her when she asked me about where the bruises came from?

I know you can't prove a negative, Hope, and I don't ask you to do so.

I just wonder if you agree with my way of viewing such matters.

I admit I might be wrong and I've taken your correction before.

Thank you.
01-15-2009 10:23 PM
Hope
The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
**hit arrow to see post
I have already responded to this post by Igzy. To me it was very accurate. The above is not the entire post but does give a fair both sides evaluation and gives a clear impression about which side of the scales was the predominate side.

Jane Anderson wrote a book about the local church. The book began with an account of a humiliating experience she suffered. The date was 1977. I believe she and her husband had been associated with the local churches since at least 1968. I have found it more than interesting that she starts the story with this event. Any reader would have to assume this was more than an isolated event. Later another humiliating experience is recounted which was suffered by a teenage girl. It has many similarities to her experience.

I can only speak from my experience. From 1965-1986, I cannot recall being in such a called gathering. I knew nothing of the one that occurred in Houston. I heard of some people in some places being called down publicly but never of a called meeting for the purpose of humiliating an individual or group of individuals. Yes, during Max Rapoport's time there were called elders gatherings for this purpose. Yes, there were such meetings after 1986. They were called and directed at specific leading brothers, but not at individual brothers or sisters or teenagers. When I complete my history, I will detail some of these. But I hope to first set a clear stage that this was not the way it always was and it was the great exception to the day to day church life.

I have been on the receiving end of rebukes in private and semi-private gatherings for alleged improper actions in discharging responsibilities related to church leadership. I have witnessed others receiving similar rebukes. I did not appreciate the one way flow and the presumption of the one bringing the rebuke. I would label this according to my definition as bullying.
I have seen a new “flow” presented by an LSM/LC cadre that railed on the brothers and sisters in general and accused them of unfaithfulness, immaturity, dullness, or being cows or such nonsense. I call this bullying. But what Jane Anderson described in her book is beyond bullying. Both her experience and the experience of the young sister are way beyond the line of decency and respect. How accurate are the accounts? I cannot say since I was not there in either case nor did I ever hear of the events until the forums. But I can say this kind of event was not what was going on! What about the 8-9 years before this infamous meeting?

I have witnessed individual elders abuse individual brothers or sisters. I have heard of such instances. These were very rare before the late 70s and were the actions of a very few persons. This should not have happen but it was not the norm.

Thus, posters, be sure, if an individual case is presented in an explosive manner such that it throws an indiscriminant blanket of guilt and shame over many persons and places, I may be compelled to respond. The forum should not be a place where any may take a free shot and vent due to some disappointing experience and not expect any push back. That is the way of the BBs and the LSM. No push back allowed.

If you need to vent and healing often requires some venting, remember not to do to some innocent persons the very thing you suffered. I learned on the forums the term judgaholic. This also cuts both ways. While we critique the Local Church movement, remember Rom 2:1, Therefore you are without excuse, every man of you who passes judgment, for in that you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. NASB

Don Rutledge
01-15-2009 09:06 PM
Hope
The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by juliep View Post
...George was always quite, and when I went through some rough times as a freshman in college he was very protective of me from the other "elders" in Dallas and stood by me in a very loving and supportive way (again, more than my own parents). When other people from the local church were judging the Whitingtons were loving!..
Who were the other elders in Dallas from whom you needed protecting? I never remember once speaking with you regarding any personal issue either privately or in any group. Why slam "other people from the local church?" Was it the Masseys, the Philleys, the Lurveys, the Lamps, the Wilsons, the Reimers, the Megahans, the Houses, the Kirks, the Brashears, the Jaynes, the Shells, the Hunters or maybe some of the young saints, Phyllis, Mike, Tommy, Randy, Keith and on and on. All of these kind and generous people are some of the other people from the local church. Do you indict them all? I frankly doubt if any from Dallas other than your parents confronted you regarding the issue of your suffering. If I am wrong you can easily identify them to me by private message and I will post regarding my terrible presumption.

Don Rutledge
01-15-2009 08:34 PM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

For the record: I was an elder in Dallas for 14 years. I was never in "one of those meetings" with a teenage girl and several elders. In fact I never heard of "one of those meetings" until I learned of "those meetings" here on the forum. Perhaps only these two are the only examples of "one of those meetings." Where did this one occur? I believe that Juliep was not in Dallas at age 18. It would help if some names were clearly mentioned in this case and in the case involving BlessD. It is totally unfair to make these broad general accusations. Earlier a description of George and Cleo Whitington was given. Why not declare or insinuate that this couple was the normal leading one in the Texas area. Maybe they are the typical example. Why insinuate that these mysterious unnamed men represent the sum of the elders and "one of those meetings" is typical? NOT MY EXPERIENCE!!! Please relate things as unique to yourself and do not imply such poor behavior was normal and broad.

Don Rutledge
01-15-2009 06:25 PM
juliep
Re: The LCS Factor

I just finished reading through the previous posts and found all the arguing about what happened in Dallas with the elders interesting. I also was called into one of those meetings at the age of 18 to be confronted alone and with about 6 or 7 elders and no parent present. The elders requested a very detailed accounting of my behavior with another young person in the LC, which I look upon as pretty perverse behavior now that I am an adult. (A young girl alone in a room full of males.) Luckily, it occured to me pretty soon thereafter, that I was an adult at 18 and didn't have to answer to the "elders" anymore. Just mentioning this incident as backup to what the other young sister experienced.
01-15-2009 02:49 PM
juliep
The LCS Factor

This is probably getting redundant for some of you, but I grew up with the Whitingtons since I was 5 years old. My mother and I lived in the "Big House" in Denton way back in the day, with George and Cleo. We used to all walk to Stonewall Elementary School with Grace as our leader - since she was the oldest. Grace - is the oldest, Ginny -one of my best friends growing up (and yes she died of complications from mitral valve prolapse / a malady we have in common and we thought it was funny at the time - that we both had the same thing), makes me cry thinking of her even now...Martha is the youngest girl and Steven is the youngest of all and kept us on our toes! Little rascal - and I say that with much love!
My experience with Cleo was she was the most supportive person in my life. More so than my own parents. In her younger years in Dallas when we kids were in junior high and high school she kept us in line for sure, there was no one like her, and probably won't ever be.
George was always quite, and when I went through some rough times as a freshman in college he was very protective of me from the other "elders" in Dallas and stood by me in a very loving and supportive way (again, more than my own parents). When other people from the local church were judging the Whitingtons were loving!
I was grown and no longer involved with the LC when Cleo was diagnosed with MS, and I have to say (maybe for selfish reasons) I am somewhat thankful I never saw her wheelchair bound and can remember her always as the woman she was when she was healthy and vibrant!
Enough reminiscing for now...
01-15-2009 01:14 PM
Terry
The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Often times, within the Recovery, "the work" with the full-timers as "managers" creates a "business" out of the church, with the many members as "employees" of the enterprise, carrying the latest "agenda" from headquarters. As such, the saints are often poor "employees," since they may not be well-suited for the tasks assigned to them. The leaders, as such, rarely take into account the actual needs and wants of the saints, since their condition takes second place to the "program." This "top down" management style almost becomes synonymous with the definition of a denomination. For such a "business" to prosper, the elders as middle "managers" must be able to hire and fire incompetent performers, else their own performance, as viewed by headquarters, suffers. Hence, the saints, like myself, become a liability, not an asset, to the program.
Hello Ohio,
On your post on middle management. Does that mean elders are not functioning in the way we were once accustomed to? In relation to 1 Timothy. Rather than having the relationship with a locality as a shepherd would be to his flock, what you see are elders functioning as a manager over a franchise? For example promoting Living Stream publications, tithing, training enrollment, etc.
Perhaps what has changed is what their role has become. More involvement with the work aspect and an assumption the flock will take care of the flock?

Terry
01-09-2009 10:35 PM
blessD
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by juliep View Post
After reading some of the posts, just wondering if any of you were children who actually grew up in the LC? I did - and was there from the start in Texas in Denton. DJohnson definantely has a good knowledge of what went on and how it felt and still feels. Thank you for acknowledging what we as children went through!
Of course I expect people who were adult at the time probably wouldnt want to think that they hurt their children, who would want to accept such a thing, when denial is much easier on the conscience?
Hi juliep,
I just wanted to say hello and was happy to see your post appear on the forum. We were friends once upon a time as teenagers in the LC... let's see I am 48, so that would be more than 30 years ago! I like your question about denial.
01-09-2009 10:12 PM
blessD
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt View Post

Others,

...The truth is that I got consumed by work for a period of time. It was a convenient way to cease-and-desist from posting.... It's because the legacy of the LC and addressing the legacy of the LC is almost nothing but conflict, consternation and suffering for everyone.
And lastly, I have a second child on the way. We don't know if it is a boy or a girl yet, but it's going to be "fun". Yes "fun" in quotes indicating the facetiousness of my reference.

Matt
Hi Matt,

I too have been consumed with work and family. But, also, I was doing much better before encountering some of the strife and wrangling on the forum. Maybe I was looking for more of a support group when I wrote of some painful experiences I had in the LC, rather than critique. Anyhow, I wanted to say thanks for writing. I always appreciate what you have to say.

Congrats on the new baby on the way!
01-09-2009 05:49 PM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
"There you go, man. Keep as cool as you can. Face miles of trials with smiles. It riles them to believe that you perceive the web they weave. Keep on thinking free."
Kind of appropriate for the forum, don'cha think?
01-09-2009 04:17 PM
Suannehill
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by countmeworthy View Post
OK guys.... where's the BEEF in all this ???
No beef..."Get a bucket of chicken...have a barrel of fun...goodby ho hum..."
(My parents had KFC stores)
01-09-2009 01:35 PM
SpeakersCorner
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
I can also remember commercials from Saturday morning TV. I occasionally will burst out with a 45-year-old jingle. My wife thinks I'm crazy.
Oh, man, have I got that disease. Just recently I caught myself singing, "For every chocolate mousse I miss, for every eclaire I resist, Figurines are sweet revenge."

That one wasn't even popular.

D'ya remember, "Brusha, Brusha, Brusha. Here's the new Ipana with a brand new flavor, It's dandy for your te-e-e-e-eth"?

Or how's about: "Welcome home, Captain Crunch ... we really missed you ... a bunch!"

Or, "I like my chicken, finger-lickin' good ... I like my chicken finger-lickin' good. I like my chicken finger-lickin' good ... real goodness from Kentucky Fried Chicken."

Ah, the memories.



SC
01-09-2009 11:22 AM
OBW
Re: The LCS Factor

Roger and all,

Igzy got the facts right, and the words pretty right (if not right on).

Don: While you may not really know who the Moody Blues are, there is a least one song that you probably have heard — Nights in White Satin. I might find one or two others you have heard, like Tuesday Afternoon. Both were from 1967.

They are still performing til this day, often with orchestras. I like the music, and while there are probably things to be said about some of the lyrics, they did have a "philosophy" that represents much of man's seeking. While it did not help them find Christ, it did speak to man's hopes, dreams, doubts, and even fantasies. Sometimes the idea of "knowing the times" can be aided by knowing the writings of the modern poets and philosophers.

In any case, the "by line" tells about me. I spend a lot of time in my thinking. But no matter how certain I appear at times, I understand that I may just be "thinking."
01-09-2009 10:32 AM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Mike is a Moody Blues fans. The avatar is the cover of their fifth album "To Our Children's Children's Children." His signature is the first words from the first track of their fourth album "On the the Threshold of a Dream."

I used to love that fourth album and listened to it over and over. Let's see whether I can remember the first track after not hearing it for about 35 years.

First voice: "I think. I think I am. Therefore I am. I think."

Second voice (mechanical and treacherous): Of course you are, my brrright little star! I've miles and miles of files, pretty files, of your forefather's frrruit. And now to suit, our grrreat computer, your magnetic ink!

First voice: "I'm more than that. At least, I think I must be."

Third voice (reassuring): "There you go, man. Keep as cool as you can. Face miles of trials with smiles. It riles them to believe that you perceive the web they weave. Keep on thinking free." song begins.



Pretty close I think.

I can also remember commercials from Saturday morning TV. I occasionally will burst out with a 45-year-old jingle. My wife thinks I'm crazy.


MOODY BLUES? I never heard of them. Did I miss out? From what you posted they seem to be way to sophisticated and deep for a simple old country boy. After all I was raised in a cane break by an old momma lion. And the ole high toned woman made me walk the line.

Hope, Don Rutledge
01-09-2009 09:17 AM
UntoHim
Re: The LCS Factor

"To our Childrens Childrens Children"

Man oh man, what are they ganna think of us? Lord have mercy.

"For the promise is unto you, and to your children..."
01-09-2009 08:53 AM
Paul Cox
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Mike is a Moody Blues fans.
Sorry, not a Moody Blues fan. But I hope that doesn't affect our fellowship
01-09-2009 07:51 AM
Cal
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Roger, have you forgotten the Moody Blues?
Mike is a Moody Blues fans. The avatar is the cover of their fifth album "To Our Children's Children's Children." His signature is the first words from the first track of their fourth album "On the the Threshold of a Dream."

I used to love that fourth album and listened to it over and over. Let's see whether I can remember the first track after not hearing it for about 35 years.

First voice: "I think. I think I am. Therefore I am. I think."

Second voice (mechanical and treacherous): Of course you are, my brrright little star! I've miles and miles of files, pretty files, of your forefather's frrruit. And now to suit, our grrreat computer, your magnetic ink!

First voice: "I'm more than that. At least, I think I must be."

Third voice (reassuring): "There you go, man. Keep as cool as you can. Face miles of trials with smiles. It riles them to believe that you perceive the web they weave. Keep on thinking free." song begins.

Pretty close I think.

I can also remember commercials from Saturday morning TV. I occasionally will burst out with a 45-year-old jingle. My wife thinks I'm crazy.
01-08-2009 06:28 PM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger View Post
Mike,
I can't take it anymore. What IS that avatar?
Roger
Roger, have you forgotten the Moody Blues?
01-08-2009 06:24 PM
Paul Cox
Re: The LCS Factor

Mike,
I can't take it anymore. What IS that avatar?
Roger
01-08-2009 03:05 PM
Hope
Re: Age correction

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
I knew our ages were not that far apart. I was actually about two months shy of 18 in Jan, 73, when we cut ties with the AOG and came to stay (well, for a while for me).
I am pretty up tight about getting dates etc correct. In Jan, 73 I was 27 not 26. At this point in the human journey I would say we are about the same. By the way, based on your comment about the traffic in Dallas, be glad you do not live here. NC drivers are much more dangerous and not as skillful as those in Dallas. Add about 150,000 college students in the area and watch out.

Don
01-08-2009 02:25 PM
OBW
Re: Fair and balance for the good of all

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
In an earlier post you mentioned that your were 18 when you came to the church in Dallas. Hey, I was only 20 when I came to the church in Waco. I was barely 26 when your family joined us in Dallas.
I knew our ages were not that far apart. I was actually about two months shy of 18 in Jan, 73, when we cut ties with the AOG and came to stay (well, for a while for me).
01-08-2009 02:16 PM
countmeworthy
Re: The LCS Factor

[QUOTE=Igzy;5121]
Quote:
The LC saw experiences of God as experiences of his substance--His life, nature and Spirit--which you could get more of, like drinking more milk, which lent to an oddly impersonal personal relationship with Him. Most serious Christians see God as a spiritual personality with whom they can grow in relationship with, as thus become more aware of personally.
I agree many of the LCrs appear to have an oddly impersonal relationship with the Lord. I think in part it is because there is waaaaaaaay too much emphasis on their perspective of the 'body of Christ' rather than emphasizing a personal relationship with Him, the Holy Spirit, the Father and the Word of God....without checking with the RcVs footnotes to see if they're on the right track...and making sure they have the LSM's blessings on what they are learning.

Time and time again, I get the impression spending time reading messages or going over Lee's teachings take precidence over The Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Word.

When they make the teachings more important than the Word of God and their personal relationship with Him, it warps their personalities and their ability to think for themselves with the BRAIN God has bestowed on each individual. It also cripples their ability to read the Word of God and let HIM speak to us without the approval of the footnotes or the 'blessing' of Lee's ministry & now the LSM's. It also cripples their ability to have normal, uplifting, edifying, encouraging, healthy relationships with people inside the walls of the LSM and with people outside the LSM.
01-08-2009 01:20 PM
Cal
Re: The LCS Factor

Mike makes a good point that the concept of "getting more God" is misleading and perhaps just plain wrong.

When we really sense the Lord's presence in us it does seem like we have "more" of God. But really, what is happening is that we are getting personally closer to God, and so are more aware of Him. The slang of getting more God is understandable, but it also illustrates again the diversion of the LC view of contacting God versus that of most serious Christians.

The LC saw experiences of God as experiences of his substance--His life, nature and Spirit--which you could get more of, like drinking more milk, which lent to an oddly impersonal personal relationship with Him. Most serious Christians see God as a spiritual personality with whom they can grow in relationship with, as thus become more aware of personally.

This growing sense of God's presence can give the impression one has more God, but probably what has really happened is that God has more of you.
01-08-2009 10:35 AM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Don, I must agree with almost all of what you have said. Even within one city, experiences varied. When I think back over the history of this particular thread, I’m reminded how quickly the desire to make everything the same — and really bad — took hold for some. You were one caught in the cross-hairs of that movement...
Mike,

Great post. I read through it once and nothing seemed off to me but all right on. I would like to respond to each paragraph when I have a little more time. You are touching what I consider to be a critical error and misunderstanding of the "inner life" and of God's Economy. I need to consider a while how to respond as I believe this area is key to understanding many of the things that went wrong and to the disappointments many experienced.

In Christ Jesus,

Hope, Don Rutledge
01-08-2009 10:24 AM
Hope
Re: Fair and balance for the good of all

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
I would agree. But at the same time, I honestly believe that the core of the problems that ultimately cast plagues upon the LCs was there from the beginning. It might have been behind a curtain in the early days in the US, but there is evidence of its presence when WL moved to Taiwan from China. I doubt that it was entirely new then.
Mike,

I agree that many of the problems and damage can be traced back to China itself. It is kind of like bringing in fruit from another country. The fruit may be tasty but are their any bugs or diseases that we should keep out of the country? For some reason, we USA believers, did not want to recognize the problems even when they began to be manifested: Daystar, Ministry Center, Control of the sharing in the local meetings, charging for trainings and other matters to be discussed later.

Thanks Mike,

Your brother and friend in Christ Jesus,

Hope, Don Rutledge

PS In an earlier post you mentioned that your were 18 when you came to the church in Dallas. Hey, I was only 20 when I came to the church in Waco. I was barely 26 when your family joined us in Dallas.
01-08-2009 08:33 AM
OBW
Re: Fair and balance for the good of all

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
Among the true blue LSMers, Witness Lee can do no wrong and is glorious in every way. Kind of ridiculous isn’t it. At the same time, I have seen some former LCers who are convinced that WL is only bad and had only evil motives from the start. Kind of ridiculous isn’t it.
I would agree. But at the same time, I honestly believe that the core of the problems that ultimately cast plagues upon the LCs was there from the beginning. It might have been behind a curtain in the early days in the US, but there is evidence of its presence when WL moved to Taiwan from China. I doubt that it was entirely new then.
01-08-2009 08:30 AM
OBW
Re: The LCS Factor

Don,

I must agree with almost all of what you have said. Even within one city, experiences varied. When I think back over the history of this particular thread, I’m reminded how quickly the desire to make everything the same — and really bad — took hold for some. You were one caught in the cross-hairs of that movement.

But on the other hand, I bet that even for all your efforts and observations that made Dallas different from other places (which were, themselves, different from other places) you and I would find that the perspective from others right there in Dallas was different. Julie could probably give us some of the perspective from the younger generation that would surprise us.

When I think back, I realize that while there was a significant collection of generally substantial people, there was always a large number of people who were, metaphorically, like alcoholics who would come to the AA meetings for a period, be sober, but trying to be so without really “doing the steps” as those people say. The result is that they would fall back into their “addiction” for a while, then reemerge with new fervor for “Christ and the church.” It’s almost like being bipolar. Can you imagine being the child of someone going through that?

If there was an “LCS Factor,” this is surely a significant part of it. The constant struggle to be “burning in spirit” when the available supply could barely keep dried grass burning. But when things looked bleak, there was nowhere to turn. You couldn’t go elsewhere because they were all “corrupt” according to the LC mantras. You might take personal exception to this, but the general idea based on the outward words of the “ministry” was that we simply had to fix ourselves by turning more to our spirit.

And that is quite the wrong place to turn. We were being told that the answer was within us. I do not disagree that Christ is in us, but when the focus is to turn to a place inside of us rather than simply to turn to Christ without any concern about where he might be, the focus is wrong. The focus of turning to “our spirit” really means turn within yourself. It does not matter how you try to argue against that, it is what is really happening. Rather than turn to Christ for the supply, we turned to ourselves to find out if there was enough supply already available within.

If this sounds inconsistent with what you thought you were teaching, consider that what was said to be in us was the Christ that had been dispensed into us. (Yes, we now come back to my pet peeve about Lee’s God’s economy = dispensing doctrine.) You might recall that the general teaching was that we were to refrain from doing on our own, but to seek more supply until we were empowered to do. This was what Lee was saying when he said that right and wrong was irrelevant, only the spirit. So if what is in us is only the amount of Christ that had been dispensed into us, then we cannot say that everything of Christ was within us. If we needed more dispensing, then what was within us was not all of Christ.

I see a significant problem when these two thoughts are put together. The God of the universe is within us and that is where you should turn when you pray. But when you find yourself in need, your real need is to get more God/Christ into you. But I thought He was already there. Since the practical, day-to-day living is about what is really available to us for our life, then the reality is that the Christ that is within us is not enough (from the LC perspective). We need more.

Doesn’t that sound heretical? The God of the universe is in you. When you pray, look inside because that is where He is. But when you are short of what it takes to live a righteous life, you pray to the God within you to get some more of Himself into you because He is not enough as it is. So even in LC terms, the idea of turning to your spirit when you find yourself in need would be insufficient because the God in you isn’t enough. You need more.

So who is this God that is all-sufficient and all-powerful but only doles himself out in little bits, keeping you from living the righteous life until you get some more “doling.” I don’t think that God is described in the Bible. Instead, the God in the Bible is all-sufficient and all-powerful. But we are the problem. We do not fail to fulfill the righteousness of the law because we don’t have enough God dispensed into us; we fail because we do not walk according to the Spirit. As long as we are looking into ourselves for the supply, we will fail. That is the law. Even this notion of “turning to your spirit” is about turning to part of me. We say that it is where Christ is. But we lose focus when we put turning to something of us first rather than simply turning to Christ as the answer. We look for some sort of stored up strength — enough dispensing — rather than look to God right now for the strength.

I do not overcome my tendency toward anger at those jerks on the road each day because I prayed a few hours ago. I do it by leaning on God right now. That prayer a few hours ago may have set my path right so that I am quicker to turn to Christ, but it will not be the fix. When the first one cuts in, I may not anger as quickly, but if I am relying on some pile of “dispensing” I will ultimately fail. It is just self effort that starts from a better position than on a day when I have not prayed within the past few hours. My strength is in Christ, not in my store of “dispensing.” I need Christ right now, not a previous store of “dispensed Christ.”
01-07-2009 09:21 PM
Hope
Re: Fair and balance for the good of all

Dear Forum,

Yes, the forum can be very cathartic. But like Mike said there is the need to be careful about painting everybody beige. But wounds are real and need healing. I have plenty to do but I spend time on this site because of the pain I have seen dear believers in Christ suffer. Sadly, some dear ones have looked for healing by letting innocent persons have it upside the head. Mutual respect and hearing one another out and no free shots please. (By the way JulieP, this is not directed at you.) I just feel the need to express some concerns in order to keep an atmosphere where you and anyone else can feel free to come and express what is on their heart.

I am curious, why is it so important to paint everyone with the same brush? We have heard repeatedly, over and over how wrong WL was with his sweeping hyperbolic generalization of “poor poor Christianity.” I have heard over and over the quote about “Christless Protestantism.” But do we really think there are not a least a few examples of some places in Christianity that are poor or where Christ has not been seen for a while? If it was wrong for WL to use inductive reasoning and take a specific case or two and make that the indicator of what the whole is, then we should be a little more sober minded and look at things on a case by case basis and learn where the flaws are.

I would propose that we consider the pains, sufferings, stumblings and damages and disillusionments from at least five directions. 1. What was the role of wrong or defective teachings and practices in the local church movement? 2. How much of the pain was caused by plain old human failure or incompetence? 3. What role did the individuals play and what about each person’s own responsibility? Of course, this will vary from case to case. 4. We are dealing with Spiritual matters and we are not ignorant of the schemes of the devil. The devil is seeking someone to devour and accuses the saints night and day. We do have an enemy. 5. As the Psalmist says, life is like the sea seldom at rest. We will all experience disappointments and trouble. I have had bad professors. I have had coaches who did not do things in a fair way. Same with bosses. Same with clients. Same with neighbors. ETC. Some parents have miserable lives after age 35 because of bad children. It does cut both ways. How we react to the troubles that come is a big matter.

Among the true blue LSMers, Witness Lee can do no wrong and is glorious in every way. Kind of ridiculous isn’t it. At the same time, I have seen some former LCers who are convinced that WL is only bad and had only evil motives from the start. Kind of ridiculous isn’t it.

Please, we do need to examine where the movement has come to and how any of us were hurt or stumbled but don’t declare that the church in Stuttgart, Germany was the same as the church in Dallas, Texas or the same as the church in Accra, Ghana. Do not think that James Barber oversaw a local church in the same way as George Whitington. If every place and every elder or co-worker was cut out of the same lump of cookie dough with the same cookie cutter then there could never have been the seven year storm cycle. There would never have been the need for the repeated purging.

In my experience, many dear ones were stumbled because of the usurping of their conscience by the authority structure of the LSM and the excessive pride of the ministry. They were told that their struggles were their own fault. Once they realize that it was not that much their fault, they can have hope of recovering what was lost. Thus, I am not saying no one should rehash the past. On the contrary, we must examine our history. Just beware of becoming a drama king.

Hope, Don Rutledge

A believer in Christ Jesus who is seeking to become a true disciple.

John 8:31-32, Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. " NASB
01-07-2009 09:02 PM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Hey, juliep,

Welcome to our little sandbox. It is so good to hear from you. I would say that if anyone knew about growing up in Dallas, you would be one of those.

I was tempted to say that I would say “hi” to my sister for you, but I don’t think I want to have to dodge where I heard from you at.

In any case, if you were reading through the posts in this thread, you saw us at our worst. And I’m not just talking about other people besides me. We didn’t do so good here. There was plenty to really talk about, but we kept running off into the fringes, hammering square pegs into round holes, and getting out a spray painter to make everything beige. (When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail.)

Still, I’m sure you saw yourself in there. I’m glad I was already 18 when I came along. I don’t think I could have stood it from childhood, through adolescence, and then on to college.

As for the LC hurting children, my own were affected indirectly. It was through the self-righteous, better-than-others attitudes displayed by their cousins as they grew up somewhat together. That “togetherness” became less and less so over the years. It’s funny to hear my dad make reference to one of them as only barely spiritual when that one tries so hard to act uber-spiritual in our presence.
Hope you'll stick around.
Mike,

Good for your dad.

But I am glad that your children did have some relationship with the cousins and grandparents. Who knows perhaps your children will one day be a source of help to their self-righteous cousins.

Hope, Don Rutledge
01-07-2009 04:45 PM
countmeworthy
Re: The LCS Factor

PHP Code:
I'm hoping that this forum will be a bit cathartic. 
LOL! Welcome Julie...keep reading....it's quite cathartic in here, quite a purging goes on most of the time.

I'd like to consider myself 'all cleaned out'....but if I waaaaaas, I wonder why I'm still here...


Btw, lots of Texans on this forum too...you probably know more of them personally, than I do. I live in Texas also but was never in the churches in Texas. My home church was in San Diego. Good church over all. (LC)

Looks like you live in Hawaii, these days........ nice. Aren't you BLESSED! ?

...I am too...even though I live in South Texas.

I hope you get well aquainted here...and shake off the dust from the past.

A New day has dawned........in Christ Jesus.
01-07-2009 04:22 PM
juliep
Re: The LCS Factor

I'm hoping that this forum will be a bit cathartic. Only just now at age 46 (oh man, am I really that old?) ready to look back at those days growing up in the LC. For those of you who dont know me - I grew up in the LC from the age of 5 (1967) until I was 18. We migrated from Denton, to Houston, to Dallas. I have actually found myself shaking and crying as I read some of the postings...So many memories come back, some not so easy.
Its good to get support from other forum users who know what I am talking about. My prayers and good wishes are sent to all of you.
01-07-2009 03:09 PM
OBW
Re: The LCS Factor

Hey, juliep,

Welcome to our little sandbox. It is so good to hear from you. I would say that if anyone knew about growing up in Dallas, you would be one of those.

I was tempted to say that I would say “hi” to my sister for you, but I don’t think I want to have to dodge where I heard from you at.

In any case, if you were reading through the posts in this thread, you saw us at our worst. And I’m not just talking about other people besides me. We didn’t do so good here. There was plenty to really talk about, but we kept running off into the fringes, hammering square pegs into round holes, and getting out a spray painter to make everything beige. (When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail.)

Still, I’m sure you saw yourself in there. I’m glad I was already 18 when I came along. I don’t think I could have stood it from childhood, through adolescence, and then on to college.

As for the LC hurting children, my own were affected indirectly. It was through the self-righteous, better-than-others attitudes displayed by their cousins as they grew up somewhat together. That “togetherness” became less and less so over the years. It’s funny to hear my dad make reference to one of them as only barely spiritual when that one tries so hard to act uber-spiritual in our presence.

Hope you'll stick around.
01-07-2009 02:01 PM
Terry
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by juliep View Post
After reading some of the posts, just wondering if any of you were children who actually grew up in the LC? I did - and was there from the start in Texas in Denton.
I was one who grew up in the early seventies-mid eighties via LA/Phoenix/Albuerquerque/Anaheim/San Bernardino. My experience was different. Grade school age it was great. Most of my friends were from families meeting in the church. The teen years were not so wonderful. There was more mixture of good and bad experiences. I witnessed a few overreactions and I witnessed much ministering to the young people. Brothers that gave/give themselves to the children's work and to the young people should not be taken for granted. I Corinthians 12:4-12 applies every bit as much to those serving in the children's ministry and those serving in the young people's ministry.

Terry
01-07-2009 01:34 PM
juliep
Re: The LCS Factor

After reading some of the posts, just wondering if any of you were children who actually grew up in the LC? I did - and was there from the start in Texas in Denton. DJohnson definantely has a good knowledge of what went on and how it felt and still feels. Thank you for acknowledging what we as children went through!
Of course I expect people who were adult at the time probably wouldnt want to think that they hurt their children, who would want to accept such a thing, when denial is much easier on the conscience?
12-15-2008 02:22 PM
Matt Anderson
Re: The LCS Factor

Roger,

Thanks for the heartfelt apology. Apology accepted. I have had enough experiences with you to know that even though you were upset with some of what I was saying and giving me a "hard time" in return that it was not with any real harmful intent. I knew you were reacting to what I was saying. I resisted some of what you had to say, but not because it was doing me great harm. If you feel I crossed the line in my resistance, please let me know.

Lastly, I know you have an excellent heart and I am privileged to be your brother in the Lord. (Note: I am not saying that to be diplomatic. I mean it.)

Others,

I knew I would be crossing a line that would upset many on the subject of idolatry. Before the Lord, I cannot honestly back away from what I introduced. I can say that some of my points were stated strongly and I cannot say that I have changed my position. It's not out of stubbornness. It's out of conviction.

The entire subject of idolatry is a strong one and I know that most do not agree with my perspective. That is okay with me. There are some times that it is okay to be out on the limb by yourself or as part of the minority. I'm not trying to say that I'm right and you're wrong. I am trying to say that there is something to what I am saying that should be strongly considered in the light of the Word of God. It is very, very difficult to present in this format (an internet forum).

I knew before as I know now that I will not be able to convince anyone of what I am saying. Part of it is the format of dialogue. It requires multiple face-to-face discussions to establish it. I know because I have gone through this exercise on several occasions to try and prove to myself whether my point of view has merit or not. I feel strongly that what I am saying holds water. It's hard to swallow, because it has such a bitter taste. How can it be that those who sought so sincerely to follow the Lord ended up in one of the most serious sins?

I read Roger's apology several days ago and have just decide to respond. I have not been sitting around being offended by anyone on this forum or the previous one. It has not been the cause for my absence.

Just this morning, I resigned from the moderatorship on the other forum. I had been feeling that it was okay for me to do so for the past several weeks. I followed through on it this morning.

I don't want there to be any misconceptions. I did not go away because others disagreed with me. The truth is that I got consumed by work for a period of time. It was a convenient way to cease-and-desist from posting. The other forum practically went dead and I stopped going out there every day. I always have plenty of things to do... I was extremely busy up until a few weeks ago.

Each time I think about these forums, I have the same thought...

I don't want to go back. It's not because I dislike the people. It's because the legacy of the LC and addressing the legacy of the LC is almost nothing but conflict, consternation and suffering for everyone.

-- Some of this conflict and suffering is valuable because it cathartically helps people get through things that were implanted in their souls through a religious experience that was abusive.
-- Some of the conflict is just unnecessary damage.

There could be some things that could happen that would draw me back in, but if the Lord allows me to be free from this then I prefer it that way. I will only return if I am clear that it is a point of obedience to the Lord.

I can surely say that my involvement on the other forum and this thread (which is the only involvement I have had on this forum) has been valuable. I won't go into all of the reasons why.

I should probably close with that.

As for my part, I can also apologize for the way I came across at times. I believe Hope caught the worst of this from me. Sorry, Hope.

I know I can be passionate in my approach at times. Sometimes this turns into arguing. I have had to work long and hard in my life to learn how to exercise more 'self-control' and change my style of communication (less combative). These aren't things that came naturally for me. I've got a quick (and sometimes sharp) tongue. My fingers can move on the keyboard almost as fast as I talk. That's not always good. If you think I am combative based on what you have read on these forums, I can only say that you are seeing an extremely mild form of what I used to be like.

And lastly, I have a second child on the way. We don't know if it is a boy or a girl yet, but it's going to be "fun". Yes "fun" in quotes indicating the facetiousness of my reference.

Matt

P.S. With just a very, very, very small number of exceptions, I have truly enjoyed getting to know a little bit about so many of those who have contributed to this forum and the last one. It is amazing to see how much the Lord loves us and cares for us. I see it when I see what many have been through and how faithful He has been to "restore our souls". For those very, very, very small number of exceptions... I haven't attained to the level of faith required to include you in my comment yet. Still working on it...
12-10-2008 11:14 AM
awareness
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
For those just joining us, let's review a crucial basic fact. Any religious sub-group that claims to have the one true way over and above all others or that believes it is the only true expression of God in a locality is guaranteed to eventually abuse both members and non-members. That is as true as night following day. And, lo and behold, that's what happened with the LC. That's what I mean when I say the problem is systemic. It's built into the belief system
"Systemic" is just the machinery. It goes deeper. Something animates the system, and that's personality. If anything, the LC was/is a personality cult. It will go down in history as a personality cult.

As personality cults before, so goes the LC. The system goes on long after the personality passes on, carried on by those that are capable and loyal enough to carry the personality forward.

Presently this is the job of the Blended Brothers...

There will always be those that remain loyal, and new ones that develop loyalty, to the LC personalities, Nee & Lee ; just as those today, in the Methodist church, remain loyal to John Wesley. Indeed, as with many Methodist's today, they may not know of John Wesley, and need not know, since the "system" is of John Wesley, and the cult of personality is passed on thru the machinery ; so too will be the case be for Leeites.

So too, the new ones of today may not see the personalities of Nee and Lee in the LC, except thru books (the dead way) or thru the living Blended brothers, (the living animators of Lee & Nee). History of Christianity has proven that personality cults -- like the Millerites of the middle 19th century, that followed William Miller -- continue on even tho the person of the personality cult was totally wrong, as in the case of William Miller.

But, because of Miller, who was wrong time and again with his predictions on the return of Christ, we now have with us the Jehovah Witnesses, and Seventh Day Adventists, who may not even know of William Miller, and would likely be ashamed if they knew they were connected to such a false prophet as William Miller.

There will always be followers that seek human personalities to follow, and personalities that fill that need. Nothing is new.

As time goes on Nee and Lee will be forgotten, but the machinery set up by them will go on. Their personality cults will live on.

Hey, there's way worst things than being in a personality cult. Not everyone will agree with me, but it's not as bad as gambling, drinking, and chasing women ; howbeit both groups wallow in the mud, and are hooked on the flesh. Who cares if it's not as much fun, it's better.

Harold
12-08-2008 11:11 AM
Cal
Re: The LCS Factor

I myself don't feel I should apologize for anything on I wrote on this thread. But I do wish Jane and Matt would reappear. I miss them.
12-06-2008 07:18 PM
Paul Cox
Re: The LCS Factor

To all, especially Matt, Jane and John Anderson,

I feel totally ashamed that it took the writing of others to prompt me to do this. I should have come forward long ago. I would visit from time to time and was grieved at how this thread had suddenly gone cold. But here I am today, fully in need of the Lord’s mercy.

I want to publicly apologize to Matt Anderson for the way I communicated to him on this thread. It was rude, insensitive and unbecoming a brother. He did nothing to deserve such treatment from me.

While I couldn’t fully agree with him on the matter of idolatry, there was no excuse to accuse him and try and put him down the way I did. It was also way over the top for me to try and intimidate him by pointing out the difference in our ages. I was truly not acting like the mature one.

I certainly feel responsible for Matt’s and Jane’s leaving. For that I am truly sorry. I would ask you to please accept my apology, and please rejoin us in the hand of fellowship. Your portion is sorely needed.

I sincerely pray that I have caused no long term damage by what I have done. I remember John and Jane from way back, and I hold the Anderson family in high regard. I want to say that before the principalities and powers, in the air, and before all who read these words.

By the Lord’s mercy, from now on, I should like to agree, or disagree with my brothers and sisters in Christ, with the full respect for the Life of the Father which we all hold in common.

Your brother
“Roger”
12-06-2008 04:31 PM
Hope
Re: The LCS Factor

Dear Sister Suannehill,

What a wonderful testimony! I have a dream that many believers would compile such experiences and record them as is mentioned in Mal 3:16, Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name. NASB
Maybe someone would pick this up. The internet gives a way for this to be done on a wide scale.

Hope, Don Rutledge

A believer in Christ Jesus who is seeking to be a true disciple
12-06-2008 06:15 AM
Suannehill
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
I have learned that among those who grew up in the LCS many face social issues. Some that I am familiar with are: alcoholism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, divorce, paying for sex i.e. engaging in services of prostitutes, infidelity, porn addiction...

My question is: what role, if any, do you think the LCS played in the development of these behaviors?

As a Mom who raised four kids...I see things a little differently...
Here, the brothers and sisters were a genuine "keeping" factor for my children. Thanks to many in Cleveland and Columbus who labored to their own exhaustion with the young people.
We knew nothing of the foolishness in Anaheim.

However, the corruption of those in California and elsewhere had to have had a ruinous effect upon the spiritual life of EVERYONE receiving materials out of the corrupted well.

Last thought...I did not reject Jim Dobson and other believers who prayerfully had suggestions and ways to help. Poor poor Christianity had practical things to offer that the LC ignored.

Did my children tun out perfectly? Of course not! Did they make many mistakes? OH yes they did.

I was blessed in that the Lord provided a small circle of sisters for me (not in LC) to pray with. We took back our homes from the enemy in prayer. We walked the streets of our tiny town in twos and threes praying as we walked. In a year we had stopped and prayed over EVERY house in town. We prayed over the playgrounds, stores, Post Office and any structure we came upon. We got permission to walk through the halls of the JR High and we prayed over the classrooms. People even would wave and smile and encourage us to keep praying. We went to each other's homes and anointed the home and prayed over each room. It became an incredible time of ministry and Life! I felt like I was in a revival equal to any seen anywhere. I cannot begin to list the things that transpired during these years.

So...while I see the corruption in LC, I cannot blame them for anything in the young people here because the young people were mostly protected.
Sue
12-05-2008 11:18 PM
kisstheson
Re: The LCS Factor

Dear ones,

I was so happy to see the posts earlier today from dear brothers Ohio and OBW regarding this thread! Perhaps it is now the Lord’s perfect timing for healing to take place regarding things that were said on this thread.

As brother OBW said:
Quote:
“I am not commenting on the people involved. I’m commenting on the thread — the topic. It had possibilities. But it went places it should not have gone. It took well-meaning people places they might not want to admit that they went.”
Alas! This was very well-said and is so true.

I was really touched by brother Ohio’s repentance. I too was involved in the thick of the battle at times, and I would like to ask everyone to forgive me as well for anything offensive I said on this thread.

There are so many dear ones whom I really miss! If anyone no longer has the time to post or no longer has the burden from the Lord to post, that is certainly understandable. May our God and Father richly bless all such ones. If there is anyone, however, who became discouraged due to the things that were said on this thread, may we all find the grace to repent to one another and to forgive one another. May everything that was said be brought under the cleansing of the precious blood and may we all be set free from any thoughts of condemnation, both towards others or towards ourselves. May the love of Christ reign supreme here.
12-05-2008 01:49 PM
OBW
A Summary, and an Apology

After Ohio’s apology, I feel compelled to say some things about where this forum is in terms of this thread.

I think that this thread was over-consuming. It ate too many of us up and spit us out. Before Ohio’s post, there had been a total of 1,022 posts to this thread. That makes up 24.7 percent of the entire forum (a total of 4,141 posts to date). (You might see different numbers since they will constantly increase.)

Of those posts, 7 people were responsible for 53 percent of them. I was among those. Those posts made up 40 percent of their posts to date.

The person with the highest number of posts to this thread posted only to this thread. And has not returned (at least while signing in) since.

One other essentially left directly from a primary focus on this thread.

Still one other stayed around for a few days after the last post was made to this thread (excluding Ohio’s and this one) and has not returned since.

I am not commenting on the people involved. I’m commenting on the thread — the topic. It had possibilities. But it went places it should not have gone. It took well-meaning people places they might not want to admit that they went.

Each direction had a degree of “truth” to it. Nothing was intended to be mean-spirited (ignoring any comments that clearly were).

But we started to seek out the evil in people. We wanted to drag out every filthy detail as proof of the evil in the LC. We didn’t care if we told stories about people who were not here to defend themselves. It didn’t matter that some may have been just now getting over issues from their place in that mess many years prior. We were going to drag it all back out anyway.

And we got dirty in the process. Sort of like dragging lepers through the encampments of the Children of Israel and making them reach out and touch the rotting skin. We got dirty with the stories. We got dirty arguing about whether to tell the stories. We got dirty playing voyeur as others did the dirty work for us.

-----

I just referred to this forum as a ghost town in that other forum. That was a bit of an overstatement. But the few that remain active seem to be afraid to get into any kind of serious controversy since it does not seem to have been a safe thing to do. Even here in this “safer” forum.

There is much to be done (IMHO) relating to these varied discussions about the LC. But we seem to be excessively soft-peddling now. I’m not suggesting that we get the big guns out again. But we are no longer engaged in seeking the serious errors of the LC, whether in practice or in teaching.

Of course, after the mud from this thread, we need to find the lessons and learn them. It is not always about being right. Sometimes it is better to just agree to disagree.

And maybe Ohio has some of the right idea. We may all find that there are things we said back in this thread that need some apology. My only problem is that if you can’t remember specifically, I’m not sure that reading back through this to find it is a good idea.

But even if I think that I did my best to keep my comments impersonal, I can bet that I failed. If Matt, Jane or John read this and want to show me where I did something specific that I should deal with, please do so. But without that, I can assume that I came across somewhere in my interactions with them poorly. For that I am truly sorry. I did not leave the forum to get away from you. I will admit that the thread was part of the reason, but it was not personal.

For BlessD and others that were trying to understand what was going on, I’m sure I didn’t help. If I said anything that came across as in opposition to you or callous to your situation, please point it out to me and I will apologize even more.

I realize that Matt’s departure may have been as much his need to focus on his duties on the other forum as much as anything. But I can’t help but think that this thread, and even may part in it, was partly responsible for him making that decision.

To borrow from an overused phrase of late, we need to learn how we can better get along even when we disagree.
12-05-2008 12:05 PM
Ohio
Apology

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Dear Thankful Jane, it's too bad you couldn't just say a friendly "goodbye" without throwing a few insults my way. I have not treated you (or any others) this way.
This past post of mine has troubled me for some time, specifically my comment about "throwing insults."

I would like to publicly apologize to Thankful Jane and any others who have read it.
10-26-2008 02:04 PM
UntoHim
Re: The LCS Factor

Ohio,
Here is the portion in bold....


Quote:
Originally Posted by Toledo View Post
Insisting that every place was improper leaves us with the misunderstanding that there was no truth ever spoken at any time through Watchman Nee or Witness Lee, that there is no practical oneness available today, and that the personal experience of Christ testified by many is simply untrue. Such would seem to be the position that many have taken; I find it untenable.
The back and forth between Hope and some others regarding the situation in Dallas went far beyond his "personal experience of Christ". As I recall Hope stated that his experience with his children there in Dallas was positive, and nobody doubted that. It was the overall situation in Dallas (and Texas?) that was disputed.

Anyway, we can go round-and-round here. If Toledo wants to clarify what he meant by "personal experience of Christ" he is welcome to do so.
10-26-2008 12:48 PM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Sorry Ohio, what you have posted is not analogous. Hope was not relating his personal experience of Christ, but attempting to claim that things were different there in the church in Dallas. What was disputed was his claim that their was less abuse there in general. Nobody called his experience in raising his children "untrue".
I mentioned his "personal experience of Christ" raising his children in Dallas. He did say his "personal experience" was different from others in many ways. You are just parsing words and playing semantics to say this. If his "personal experience" in Dallas, while he was there, did not involve the so-called "abuse of children," how is that different from his claiming there was "less abuse there in general?"
10-26-2008 10:47 AM
Suannehill
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
...
I will always defend the blessed experiences I receive from my participation in the local church, but I do not feel I can express my past experiences in this forum, as it seems to be counter productive to my fellowship with others who have had poor experiences in the church, who cannot see beyond their anger
to allow that some may have been helped by the teachings in the local church.

I am finding it is better to focus on what lies before us, rather than what lies behind.

Grace to all,

Shawn
Brother Shawn,
We all had good experiences in the LSM. It was very often a reflection of our own seeking and the time of revival around us (60's & 70's). We just absorbed what was spoken. This absorption was not very discerning. I speak for myself now...
I believed ALL the brothers from LSM said. The problem is, they are very fallible men. They added things and gave things their own personal spin. This is not unique to LSM. Most men do this. So, it seems that the folks here are not asking that you forget your positive experiences but that you realize that all spoken from LSM was not pure. These men added things to manipulate us to financially support and uphold them. (this is fact, not opinion)

I must be grateful for all the Lord has led me through because He has used for His end.
Sue
10-26-2008 08:34 AM
Cal
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
Greetings All,

Based on my observation listed in my post, I have given up on trying to convey to others my positive experience in the church, as the replies usually imply that I am an idolator who is blind to the truth as it is percieved by them.

I will always defend the blessed experiences I recieve from my participation in the local church, but I do not feel I can express my past experinces in this forum, as it seems to be counter productive to my fellowship with others who have had poor experiences in the church, who cannot see beyond their anger
to allow that some may have been helped by the teachings in the local church.

I am finding it is better to focus on what lies before us, rather than what lies behind.

Grace to all,

Shawn

Shawn,

The problem is not in others accepting that you have had positive experiences. Everyone knows you have. The problem is in your not facing that those positive experience neither excuse the abuses nor negate their underlying systemic causes.

The problem, which I've seen over and over in all LC defenders on this board, is an inability or unwillingness to straightforwardly confront the possibility of legitimate problems of LC doctrine and practice which by their very nature lead to abuses. I have yet to see any stauch defender of the local ground or the one ministry doctrine ever say, "Hmmm, yes I can see how such doctrines could lead to abuses." No, all they want to talk about how they think these doctrines have blessed them.

For those just joining us, let's review a crucial basic fact. Any religious sub-group that claims to have the one true way over and above all others or that believes it is the only true expression of God in a locality is guaranteed to eventually abuse both members and non-members. That is as true as night following day. And, lo and behold, that's what happened with the LC. That's what I mean when I say the problem is systemic. It's built into the belief system.

If that concept hasn't at least caused you to pause and reconsider, and to take a break from making the defense of your positive experience your top priority, then it's clear you are not listening.

In this case, as far as I'm concerned, it seems focusing on what lies before instead of behind is just a euphemism for wearing blinders.
10-26-2008 08:13 AM
UntoHim
Re: The LCS Factor

Sorry Ohio, what you have posted is not analogous. Hope was not relating his personal experience of Christ, but attempting to claim that things were different there in the church in Dallas. What was disputed was his claim that their was less abuse there in general. Nobody called his experience in raising his children "untrue".
10-26-2008 06:27 AM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Finally, nobody has said that anybody's personal experience of Christ is untrue. Who ever said such a thing? I was in the LC for many, many years and had a lot of personal experience of Christ. Why would you say such a thing?
Whoa! ... hold on there fella ... maybe you have forgotten ... this thread got real incendiary when brother Hope gave his "personal experience of Christ" about raising children in Texas, and it was strongly disputed by numerous forum members from that great state as "untrue."
10-25-2008 09:12 PM
UntoHim
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toledo View Post
It doesn't rub salt in anyone's wounds to remind them that not every place and not every brother was the same
Though a true statement, this is rather irrelevant to the fact that there was widespread abuse in the Local Church. Of course not every place or every brother was the same. Nobody has ever said they were!

Quote:
It is fair to commiserate with the damaged saints who were hurt by improper administration in many places. It is not fair to insist that every place was improper.
Nobody on this forum (or anywhere far as I recall) has ever said such a thing. Actually it has been Witness Lee and his followers who have called other Christians, their ministries and meetings improper (and much worse), and they continue to do so to this very day.

Quote:
Insisting that every place was improper leaves us with the misunderstanding that there was no truth ever spoken at any time through Watchman Nee or Witness Lee, that there is no practical oneness available today, and that the personal experience of Christ testified by many is simply untrue. Such would seem to be the position that many have taken; I find it untenable.
Repeating something does not make it true. "No truth ever spoken at any time through Nee or Lee"??? I have never heard anybody EVER say anything even close to this. This is how Witness Lee reacted to criticisms from without and from within - he retaliated with absurd, gross overstatements and exaggerated claims, and then just hoped that something would stick. It made his arguments and self-vindication really, really weak.

Of course there is practical oneness today! Again, who has ever said there isn't? And you know what, I am going to experience practical oneness here in just a matter of hours with the several hundred other brothers and sisters I break bread with every Sunday morning. And, get this, we are going to experience practical oneness without badmouthing one single Christian or Church in our city, or tell them that we are the church and they are not...can you imagine that!

Finally, nobody has said that anybody's personal experience of Christ is untrue. Who ever said such a thing? I was in the LC for many, many years and had a lot of personal experience of Christ. Why would you say such a thing?
10-25-2008 08:52 PM
Shawn
Re: The LCS Factor

Greetings All,

I think my comments since joining this board and the previous Berean forum have been upholding this very thought; that many have been with the local churches (including myself) and have benefited from the ministries of brother Nee and brother Lee.

My point I made concerning the painful experiences of others in certain localities was made to explain the frustration that was written a few posts before of how troubling it has become trying to get beyond this stumbling block of not accepting others exprience in the local churches and the angry backlash that it produces.

The progression/momentum here aches me. How do we keep doing this to/with each other, year after year, decade after decade?

Peter Debelak


Based on my observation listed in my post, I have given up on trying to convey to others my positive experience in the church, as the replies usually imply that I am an idolator who is blind to the truth as it is percieved by them.

I will always defend the blessed experiences I recieve from my participation in the local church, but I do not feel I can express my past experinces in this forum, as it seems to be counter productive to my fellowship with others who have had poor experiences in the church, who cannot see beyond their anger
to allow that some may have been helped by the teachings in the local church.

I am finding it is better to focus on what lies before us, rather than what lies behind.

Grace to all,

Shawn
10-25-2008 03:32 PM
YP0534
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toledo View Post
It is fair to commiserate with the damaged saints who were hurt by improper administration in many places. It is not fair to insist that every place was improper.

Insisting that every place was improper leaves us with the misunderstanding that there was no truth ever spoken at any time through Watchman Nee or Witness Lee, that there is no practical oneness available today, and that the personal experience of Christ testified by many is simply untrue. Such would seem to be the position that many have taken; I find it untenable.
Yes.

I remain cautious and skeptical of claims concerning practical oneness.

I think it is dangerous and damaging to espouse some well-meaning "vision of the church" which would ordinarily be the foundation for such.

Nevertheless, the assembly must and does exist and we can enjoy and participate in it wherever we are. Of this much I am sure.
10-25-2008 03:09 PM
Toledo
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
I do believe that due to the painful experiences some have had in the Lords recovery (ie: Texas and Anahiem), when the past is reopened, so also are the wounds. Any attempt to deny these painful moments due to our never experiencing them personally (ie:the GLA), further adds salt to the wound; albeit unintentionally.
It doesn't rub salt in anyone's wounds to remind them that not every place and not every brother was the same. It is fair to commiserate with the damaged saints who were hurt by improper administration in many places. It is not fair to insist that every place was improper.

Insisting that every place was improper leaves us with the misunderstanding that there was no truth ever spoken at any time through Watchman Nee or Witness Lee, that there is no practical oneness available today, and that the personal experience of Christ testified by many is simply untrue. Such would seem to be the position that many have taken; I find it untenable.
10-24-2008 01:52 PM
Shawn
Re: The LCS Factor

I don't see much hope in breaking the ongoing cycle of mis interpertations of shared experiences, for as long as we are individuals, we will always see things differently. Our only way to limit the damage is to guard our responses, by remembering that each of us have been shown the Lord's mercy in His recieving of us and thus, should reflect on how we receive each other.

I do believe that due to the painful experiences some have had in the Lords recovery (ie: Texas and Anahiem), when the past is reopened, so also are the wounds. Any attempt to deny these painful moments due to our never experiencing them personally (ie:the GLA), further adds salt to the wound; albeit unintentionally.

In acknowledging this, trying to come to terms of what really happened ends up in a spiraling vortex of misunderstandings and broken fellowship.

I think this is why Paul encouraged us to stretch forward to the things which are before; in doing so we set our eyes on our Saviour and our hope, Jesus Christ.

In doing so do we ignore our past mistakes and bury them? Yes and no; for they are buried in the forgiviness we each have in our Redeemer, who will individually remind us when the time is right for our individual perfecting by exposing our shortages when His grace is sufficient to deal with it. Our attempts to "help" others in examining their past usually ends up in the trash heap of condemnation; even with the noblest of intentions.

May our Lord give us eyes that see others as they are seen by Him and hearts ready to forgive and encourage in His grace and love.

Blessings to all,

Shawn
10-23-2008 06:47 AM
Nell
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Debelak View Post
.... In response to that, most of us will say, "The difference is, I happen to be RIGHT!" And so it goes, on and on... So how do we stop it? How often, despite genuine conviction, are we able to "turn the other cheek"?

I like both my cloak and my tunic. What must transpire before I can be willing to give them both up?

Really, how do we stop this? ...
Peter,

I don't see the "I happen to be RIGHT!" attitude as much as "You happen to be WRONG!" I may think I'm right, but show me where I'm wrong, or show me where I'm "off". Show me in the Bible. If I'm not making my point, ask questions. If I quote a verse that you don't believe supports my theory, ask me to explain.

It's not about turning the other cheek. It's about communication. It may get heated, but that's not a bad thing. As long as the goal is to learn something and/or hear God's word to us, I think we'll be fine. As long as our goal is to understand the point the other person is trying to make, we'll be fine.

It's important to be open to the possibility that you/I/we/Christians can be deceived in our convictions. I have a track record of being deceived. I admit that. I didn't like finding out I was in the fog for 15 years. I've been praying lately for some folks, and my prayer has been "Lord, open their eyes." I've realized something in the process, and have begun to pray also, "Lord, open my eyes, too."

Another goal of mine is simply to be heard. I don't expect everyone to line up behind me and agree, but I would like to be heard...accurately. I would like for people to listen. Restate if you must, but make sure you restate accurately. The way you know if you've restated my point accurately is to ask.

Recently, I believe it was Toledo, repeated the "here I stand" proclamation of Martin Luther. There are matters in the holy scriptures where we must take such a stand. Specifically, the matters of the faith once given, which is where Martin Luther was drawing the line.

There are also matters where we must not take such a stand. I think almost every other topic, other than the faith once given, might fall into this category. I remain convinced about a lot of things. However, I've also had my eyes opened about my former convictions, and been persuaded to give up my beloved cloak and tunic. At such times, I realize once again that I don't know everything, but I worship the God who does.

The painful process of learning to communicate to the point of understanding breaks down...especially in a forum type environment such as this. I hope this provides somewhat of an answer to your questions. As long as the goal is to communicate, we go forward until we learn how. Perhaps the best way is for each one to "speak the truth in love" and give each other the benefit of the doubt that they are trying to do the same.

Nell

PS: One more thing! (Sorry.) To say the equivalent of "that's not true" isn't good enough. What's not true? On what do you base your statement? Chapter and verse. :-)
10-22-2008 01:02 PM
Nell
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Dear Thankful Jane, it's too bad you couldn't just say a friendly "goodbye" without throwing a few insults my way. I have not treated you (or any others) this way.

Ohio,

Perhaps you are not aware of it, but you have a habit which is frustrating to me and perhaps others...TJ for example.

Above TJ has tried to communicate to you that you are reshaping her words into something she didn't say. When she tries to communicate this to you, you further misstate and/or reshape, believing her attempt at communication to be an insult. There was no insult. Frank communication is not an insult, it's just ... frank.

I know you believe you have not mistreated others. That may not be your intention, but you have mistreated others. How? I know how much time Jane spends on her posts...days on a post that is important to her. I've done the same thing. When you spend that much time to put something in writing, what you said or didn't say is in black and white. If someone doesn't understand the post, that's different: ask questions and discuss until the author's intent is clearly understood. That's called "communicating".

I've seen you take something in black and white and reshape it into something else. Often something embellished, maybe inflammatory but totally missing the point. The end result? Total miscommunication and a rabbit trail to clean up the mess.

A secondary result? Others may attribute your remarks to Jane (or me). I'm scratching my head saying "WHAT? I didn't say that! Where did that come from?" How frustrating is that?

Is telling you this an insult? No.

Is this frank communication? Yes.

Maybe you don't like it, but that doesn't make it an insult.

Nell
10-21-2008 08:32 PM
Peter Debelak
Re: The LCS Factor

The progression/momentum here aches me. How do we keep doing this to/with each other, year after year, decade after decade?

We don't disagree about the fundamentals of our shared faith and hope in Christ. How do our "convictions" about this or that end up in an inability to talk to each other? Of course, each one of us will point to what "the other one" did. But that's the same claim of everyone involved in a dispute of faith - including the RCC, the LC and myself. In response to that, most of us will say, "The difference is, I happen to be RIGHT!" And so it goes, on and on... So how do we stop it? How often, despite genuine conviction, are we able to "turn the other cheek"?

I like both my cloak and my tunic. What must transpire before I can be willing to give them both up?

Really, how do we stop this?

There's going to be a hundred more "LSMs" created by each one of us, in different ways, before we finally get to the root of the problem, if we ever do. Will we just let that future history play out and sort itself out down the line? I pray that we don't.

In Love,

Peter
10-21-2008 06:29 PM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
Sorry, I've never heard of this usage of "holocaust." It brings one thing to mind for most of us. That's what I responded to. I'm done, Ohio. I'm tired of your restating my words in your own words and misrepresenting my meaning. I never said to obey someone is to have another god. I'm not going to repeat for you what I really did say. You don't seem to care. If you do, please reread what I wrote. I clearly did not say this.

I really don't have the heart for anymore of this kind of communicating. I've said all I have to say, so I'm signing off, leaving what I have said on the table. My hope is that people will read my words for themselves, if they are interested, and not take your reshaping to be a true representation of my thought.

Thankful Jane
Dear Thankful Jane, it's too bad you couldn't just say a friendly "goodbye" without throwing a few insults my way. I have not treated you (or any others) this way.
10-20-2008 06:16 AM
YP0534
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timotheist View Post
Good. this topic has been beaten to death... or into a golden calf.
To me, it began as a golden calf that some thought they might rise up to tear down.

The Lord judge what the stronghold is.
10-19-2008 08:06 PM
Timotheist
Re: The LCS Factor

Good. this topic has been beaten to death... or into a golden calf.
10-19-2008 07:41 PM
Thankful Jane
Re: The LCS Factor

Sorry, I've never heard of this usage of "holocaust." It brings one thing to mind for most of us. That's what I responded to. I'm done, Ohio. I'm tired of your restating my words in your own words and misrepresenting my meaning. I never said to obey someone is to have another god. I'm not going to repeat for you what I really did say. You don't seem to care. If you do, please reread what I wrote. I clearly did not say this.

I really don't have the heart for anymore of this kind of communicating. I've said all I have to say, so I'm signing off, leaving what I have said on the table. My hope is that people will read my words for themselves, if they are interested, and not take your reshaping to be a true representation of my thought.

Thankful Jane
10-19-2008 08:02 AM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
Nor was it me who said that. Ohio, I don’t see how one man and his family being judged by God is equivalent to the holocaust, but at least this gives me a clue to where you came up with the idea J. I would say in this that you are the one pushing the analogy.
A holocaust is a whole burnt offering which referred to the judgement on the Israelite in Joshua 7. It should be differentiated from "The Holocaust," which occurred during WWII.

You have not addressed the matter I referred to, i.e. to apply the Lord's word in this story to LC idolatry, then we must also face the consequences of this idolatry, which was being burnt alive in front of all Israel.

I don't think it is me "pushing an analogy" here. You brought up Joshua 7 as proof text that all Israel was guilty of idolatry. I disagreed, saying only one was guilty, and his idolatry was a graven image, not the so-called idolatry of the heart.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
He did tell us in plain words: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." "Whoever you yield yourselves to obey (listen to), his servants you are whomever you obey." "You cannot serve two masters ..." If two masters tell you to do something, the one you heed (listen to) is the one you have chosen to serve. Thankful Jane
You seem to believe that if we obey a leader, such as an LC elder or minister, then we are guilty of "having other gods before Me," and "serving another master," and hence guilty of idolatry, the worshipping of idols.

I can only guess that this difference of understanding is the source of our ongoing disagreement.
10-18-2008 12:40 PM
Thankful Jane
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toledo View Post
I both respect and appreciate your beliefs. I do not agree with you, but it is obvious that you have spent much time before the Lord in prayer, and much time searching through the bible. I do not agree with your interpretation of the scriptures -- you add a lot to the plain word of the bible. However, I respect your right to do so. Our oneness is based upon the Spirit and the divine life that we share, not upon our doctrinal agreement.

If you want to talk about "adding to the plain word of the Bible" maybe you should start with what WL did. Lee made up new concepts and terms and spent thousands upon thousands of pages of text expounding them, for example "the processed Triune God" and "divine dispensing."

I am using the word "idolatry" which is clearly addressed in the Bible and has a spiritual application to us today. In the O.T. we are told in great detail about animal sacrifices and various offerings in order to convey spiritual truth to us. We are helped to understand the reality of Christ's blood and its effectiveness. Today we cannot see Christ's blood with our eyes, but we can apply it by faith and it removes our sins. In the same way, today we may not make physical carved idols and prostrate ourselves before them, but the spiritual truth demonstrated in the detail given us about the children of Israel and idolatry in the O.T. warns us of the dangers we face of committing spiritual idolatry in our hearts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toledo View Post
Ohio has pointed out at least one example above.
Ohio was quoting Matt, not me, so I still have not been given an example of where I said something like this.

I am happy to drop the topic of idolatry. It's been set on the table as food for thought and I do not think it will be easily forgotten. Let God do with it as He will.

Many Blessings in Him,
Thankful Jane
10-18-2008 12:37 PM
Thankful Jane
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I may have introduced this specific phrase, or its alternate "broad brush," but it was not me who said, "Then I don't think you have gotten it yet. Everyone was brought into the idolatry (me included). All you have to do is study history (including the history of Israel) to see that it is not just the leaders who are held responsible. The whole congregation is held responsible."
Nor was it me who said that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I mentioned holocaust because that was how the story in Joshua ended. You likened the LC situation to that story in Joshua 7. If we are all idolators like that one in the story, shouldn't all our fate be the same? It's not me who is exaggerating here. How far are you pushing the analogy? He was burned alive. Should we all suffer the same judgment?
Ohio, I don’t see how one man and his family being judged by God is equivalent to the holocaust, but at least this gives me a clue to where you came up with the idea J. I would say in this that you are the one pushing the analogy. My point was that defeat by the devil is a sign of an accursed thing in the camp, not that everyone needs to be burned by fire. Everyone had responsibility to take part in finding and judging the problem openly. This is more in line with my point about the LC situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
If I "listen" to the "voices and commands" of others who are elders and ministers, then have I become an idolator? I don't think so. Since when is to "listen to" the same as to "bow down to?" What scripture supports that? I have protested every such assertion on this thread. Don't you think if there was, "at least a possibility that God might consider our behavior (bowing to others voices and commands) to be idolatrous," He would tell us in plain words?
He did tell us in plain words:

"Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

"Whoever you yield yourselves to obey (listen to), his servants you are whomever you obey."

"You cannot serve two masters ..."

If two masters tell you to do something, the one you heed (listen to) is the one you have chosen to serve.

Thankful Jane
10-13-2008 06:03 PM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell View Post
Ohio,

If God wanted to say a few plain words to you/us about idolatry, how would He do it? Is it possible that the Lord has been speaking to you/us through Matt and Jane on this topic? Is it possible that resistance to this topic has drowned out His plain words?

Nell
Nell, God speaks thru his word and He speaks to our heart thru His Spirit. I have learned much from these forums. The best learning for me was to make alive the scripture ... that which I already knew and was very familiar with ... yet was clouded over by certain errant teachings of the ministry. The comments of many ... "here a little, there a little" ... have been quite helpful in my journey. I have two Bibles and a concordance always next to my computer. I have seriously taken this matter of idolatry to heart ... but I am not a blank slate. Many, many things on these forums I have also rejected. Neither do I only accept from some and reject all others. I try to weigh each post on its own merits, as time permits.
10-13-2008 03:22 PM
Toledo
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell View Post
I'm just asking questions.
I agree that questions are valuable and important. I've spent more than 30 years saying "Amen" to whatever I was told. Now I am learning once again to ask questions and to seek after the truth.

I am willing and open to being corrected (after all -- I've been wrong a lot!). I'm just not ready to accept a quick and easy answer. I want to see what the bible has to say ... about so many things!
10-13-2008 02:58 PM
Nell
Re: The LCS Factor

Toledo,

I'm just asking questions.

Nell
10-13-2008 12:24 PM
Toledo
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell View Post
If God wanted to say a few plain words to you/us about idolatry, how would He do it? Is it possible that the Lord has been speaking to you/us through Matt and Jane on this topic? Is it possible that resistance to this topic has drowned out His plain words?
Our God has the entire New Testament, including the words of the Lord Jesus Himself in the Gospels, and we needed to wait 2,000 years for him to speak through TJ and Matt...? Goodness, how is that different from what the Blending Brothers have to say with their "up to date" word?

"Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Holy Scriptures or by evident reason—for I can believe neither pope nor councils alone, as it is clear that they have erred repeatedly and contradicted themselves—I consider myself convicted by the testimony of Holy Scripture, which is my basis; my conscience is captive to the Word of God. Thus I cannot and will not recant, because acting against one's conscience is neither safe nor sound. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen." ~ Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms

The "resistance to this topic" has been because :

1) the case for the sort of idolatry TJ and Matt have insisted upon has not been shown through the testimony of the Holy Scriptures, and

2) even less has it been shown that everyone who ever met with the local churches is guilty.
10-13-2008 10:49 AM
Nell
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
... Don't you think if there was, "at least a possibility that God might consider our behavior (bowing to others voices and commands) to be idolatrous," He would tell us in plain words?
Ohio,

If God wanted to say a few plain words to you/us about idolatry, how would He do it? Is it possible that the Lord has been speaking to you/us through Matt and Jane on this topic? Is it possible that resistance to this topic has drowned out His plain words?

Nell
10-12-2008 05:53 AM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
The problem in the LC is that there was not healthy oversight and there was never any admission that the blessing was lost. If anyone dared suggest that this might have happened, then they and those in their tent who were targeted as the troublemakers... been there, done that... i.e., if you name a problem, you are the problem. (To me, this is similar to what has happened in the resistance shown to this topic on this thread.)
Much of the oversight was not healthy because it did not come from the local elders, but rather from a headquarters. The loss of blessing gnawed at me for years, all the while I kept believing endless broken promises. And, yes ... problems are not received warmly.

But ... your reference to the resistance to the topic of idolatry on this thread has no merit.
.................................................. ..................................................


Originally Posted by Ohio: The tragedy of the LC's for decades was to look to Anaheim for the way of blessing and for the reasons for which there was no blessing. This has robbed the Lord of His rightful place as the Head of the church and the Son of Man walking in her midst. Anaheim became a rival to God's own Son. The "ministry" became a rival to His word. Hence, very little blessing exists in the LC's, to the point that some would even say there is a kind of curse upon them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
How is this different than what I said? The O.T. cursings and blessings were directly tied to God’s children having other gods. The ministry and leadership hierarchy among us took the place of God’s word and His direct headship over each of us; hence, it was another god.
This was the exact same situation the Lord Jesus faced in His earthly ministry. The Pharisees made void the word of God. They robbed God of His rightful place. But the begging question is this -- why didn't the Lord call this idolatry. He had ample opportunity. He was in Jerusalem rebuking them for a whole week. His "woe to you"s were fairly extensive. Why did the Lord not tell the Pharisees that they had "another god?" He called them vipers and cemeteries. Obviously he was not pulling any punches. Could He simply have forgotten what he had written in times past about idolatry?
.................................................. ..................................................


Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
Some may claim now that they never submitted. I ask, then, where were their voices of objection in the past? Silence is consent. Silence is the equivalent of bowing and it produces culpability. If we saw the problem and were silent, we had part in closing the door on blessing and opening the door to cursing. We share responsibility for our being run over by every kind of evil. I believe that even now, many people ex-LSM folks still value the teachings of the ministry more than the pure Word of God. They treasure the ministry and still have it hidden under their tents. Thankful Jane
Whoa! Slow down here. "Silence is consent. Silence is the equivalent of bowing?" Consent to what? Bowing down to who?

In conclusion, I can not say it any better than ol' brother Toledo: "
I both respect and appreciate your beliefs. I do not agree with you, but it is obvious that you have spent much time before the Lord in prayer, and much time searching through the bible. I do not agree with your interpretation of the scriptures -- you add a lot to the plain word of the bible. However, I respect your right to do so. Our oneness is based upon the Spirit and the divine life that we share, not upon our doctrinal agreement."
10-12-2008 05:07 AM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
The example of Lee’s training which you mentioned is a good one. W. Lee called it “training” ... he found a way to legitimize our submission to his dictates ...as he mercilessly berated people in front of others. Our willing submission eventually carried over into the “church.” I sat quietly and watched at the trainings, praying I would never find myself in his gun sights ... I assume you submitted to his training rules, which included not leaving our seats before break time. If God himself had told you to get up and go to the restroom when your bladder was bursting, would you have done so?
TJ, your "graphic" illustration of one sister's plight in the training is a vivid description of another factor which crept into the LC's -- which until now, I have heard very little mention of -- legalism. And ... btw ... for us coffee drinkers that plight was very real indeed.

Many, many times the ministry informed us of how bad, careless, and irresponsible we all were -- thus we needed "training." That was one thing we could never get enough of! The need for training was often just a "disguise" for legalism to invade the churchlife. Oftentimes, this legalism became sanctioned "abuse". Each one begins to apply standards to others which were drilled into them. Sensitivity to others' needs is overridden by rules and regulations ... and a general callousness to God's needy people. These changes went into overdrive at LSM during the mid-80's, and many churches were adversely affected.

Obviously, via the many testimonies I have read on these forums, the Texas brand of legalism was especially obnoxious. Though all attendants received the same regulations at the LSM trainings, it was the reinforcement of those regulations by certain leaders back in Texas, which made those rules so repugnant. Personally, even I were chief training usher, I could never forbid a sister in need.

Legalism has always been a killer of God's people. The Pharisees used it and the Lord rebuked them and exposed them. Paul fought its effects. But ... whether we are discussing legalism, or abuse, or wrong submissions, or a host of other issues in the LC, all of them together do not rise to the standard of idolatry. Like I was taught in Catholic school -- a million "venial" sins do not make a single "mortal" sin.
10-11-2008 08:28 PM
Toledo
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
The following is my basic understanding of idolatry, as it applies to us as believers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
I believe that God views our deliberate obedience to voices/words/teachings other than His own as spiritual fornication.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
I believe that God sees having any other god as a violation of our relationship with Him in the same way that we view violation of a marriage relationship by fornication/adultery.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
I believe that God sees this kind of violation as seduction or fornication or idolatry.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
This is a brief overview of what I believe.
I both respect and appreciate your beliefs. I do not agree with you, but it is obvious that you have spent much time before the Lord in prayer, and much time searching through the bible. I do not agree with your interpretation of the scriptures -- you add a lot to the plain word of the bible. However, I respect your right to do so. Our oneness is based upon the Spirit and the divine life that we share, not upon our doctrinal agreement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
I have given some thought to the repeated accusation on this thread that I believe “all” in the Local Churches are guilty of idolatry. No one has yet shown me where I said this.
Ohio has pointed out at least one example above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
The simple truth is that it really doesn’t matter what I think or you or anyone else thinks about idolatry.
I agree: it really doesn’t matter what I think or you or anyone else thinks about idolatry. That is why I have responded to this thread. I think we would profit greatly if we would abandon the subject of idolatry altogether.
10-11-2008 08:03 PM
Toledo
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
I’m glad to hear that you read other materials. Did you ever share L. S. Chafer’s teachings in the meetings of the Local Church or mention him publicly (while still in an LSM church)?
Yes, in fact several elders in the Great Lakes area also had sets of Chafers' eight volume systematic theology.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
Did you sign the letter with approx. 400 other elders that stated that the leading of W. Lee was “indispensable to our oneness”?
No.
10-11-2008 03:42 PM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post

Again, the point is how does God see our situation? Have we suffered defeat by the enemy or not? Loss of marriages; our second generation turning away from God and living sinful, immoral lives; untimely deaths, lawsuits against Christian brothers; brother hating brother; boasting in riches; etc. When all is said and done, it really doesn’t matter what we say, but what God says.
Your description sounds exactly like Laodicea in Rev 3. I would say it is a "perfect fit." The arrogant pride, the exclusivism and elitism all bear the rotten fruits that you enumerated. And ... what does God say to them? He did not mention idolatry. He did rebuke them. He admonished them to buy from Him. And He waited outside the door until some invited Him in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
If I or others say that the reason for such loss of blessing is our serving other gods, do you really consider such a statement to be the same as the crimes of holocaust or inquisitions? Don’t you think that is a bit of exaggeration? Isn’t there at least a possibility that God might consider our behavior (bowing to others voices and commands) to be idolatrous?
I mentioned holocaust because that was how the story in Joshua ended. You likened the LC situation to that story in Joshua 7. If we are all idolators like that one in the story, shouldn't all our fate be the same? It's not me who is exaggerating here. How far are you pushing the analogy? He was burned alive. Should we all suffer the same judgment?

If I "listen" to the "voices and commands" of others who are elders and ministers, then have I become an idolator? I don't think so. Since when is to "listen to" the same as to "bow down to?" What scripture supports that? I have protested every such assertion on this thread. Don't you think if there was, "at least a possibility that God might consider our behavior (bowing to others voices and commands) to be idolatrous," He would tell us in plain words?
10-11-2008 07:45 AM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Dear Ohio, Sorry for the delayed response.

Thankful Jane, apologies accepted.

What? I don’t see “godly fellowship with the offender” in Corinthians. (Which verses show this?) I just see that he was put away from fellowship by the majority. I also see that Paul delivered him to Satan for the destruction of the flesh that his spirit could be saved in the day of Christ Jesus. I guess you could call that “godly fellowship” if you wanted to do so. He did repent, but it took a lot more than some kind of conversation with him.

Gal 6.1, Brothers, even if a man is overtaken in some offense, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of meekness." We also know that the brother was repentant and Paul encouraged the Corinthians in his second letter to restore the brother and to "confirm your love to him." 2 Cor 2.1-11 I encourage you to read these verses. They are the "flip side" of the verse "purge out the old leaven."

TJ, it's sad that the Texas brothers never presented a pattern of "godly fellowship" to the flock. Instead they have only presented a rotten example of ruthless humiliations and quarantines.

I see that some have been arguing using the phrase “guilt by association” as if I had used this phrase; however, I think that it was you introduced it. I guess you considered it was “guilt by association” when God judged the Israelites and 36 of them died in battle because of the sin of another (Achan), whom they were associated with by virtue of being part of the children of Israel. You said this idea was frightening to you. It is healthy for God’s judgment to strike a chord of fear in us. The Ai story also makes it clear that it wasn’t men on some kind of a witch hunt that found Achan, but it was God Who directed them to Achan. God is the one who pointed out the idolater. So this is not a story about man’s misjudgment, but God’s righteous actions through men who were willing to walk in the light with Him.

I may have introduced this specific phrase, or its alternate "broad brush," but it was not me who said, "Then I don't think you have gotten it yet. Everyone was brought into the idolatry (me included). All you have to do is study history (including the history of Israel) to see that it is not just the leaders who are held responsible. The whole congregation is held responsible." Other things have been said that lumps all together as idolators. This is what I have protested.

The real judgment that the children of Israel experienced at Ai was that they were defeated by their enemies. God was not with them in battle. Why not? Because of the sin of one person among them—sin that no one apparently knew about except for God. Their defeat was His way of telling everyone something was wrong. I didn’t write this story, God did. I guess He wasn’t afraid of sobering us by it.

Not all Israel suffered discipline at Ai. 2 or 3 thousand were sent to fight by Joshua, and only 36 were smitten. Let me suggest that the real reason that they lost the battle was they didn't seek the Lord first. There were other times this also happened -- when the enemies disguised themselves, for example. After they lost that skirmish, then did seek the Lord and the "accursed thing" was exposed. God often uses our failures to bring us seeking to Himself, not with the goal of judging us, or worse -- judging us all.

Shouldn’t defeat by our enemies concern us? When we see the enemy prevailing, shouldn’t we humbly pray for God’s light on the situation and not start defending ourselves as innocent? The norm is blessing and victory, not cursing and defeat. The children of Israel were warned in advance they would lose God’s blessing if they served other gods. They were told they would experience pestilence, the sword, famine, and beasts devouring them. God told them what the loss of blessing would look like, so that they would recognize when they had offended Him.

Yes, a hearty Amen, we should humbly pray.

But ... we should ask what is on the Lord's heart, and not assume that others are guilty of idolatry.

Also, the age has changed. This is the church age, the age of grace. I am not judged just for being part of the LC's based on something done at a publishing house in Calfornia.
10-11-2008 05:50 AM
YP0534
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Debelak View Post
P.S. I admit that I had no problem being "that guy"
Still don't, as far as I can tell.
10-10-2008 11:32 PM
Peter Debelak
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
I assume you submitted to his training rules, which included not leaving our seats before break time. If God himself had told you to get up and go to the restroom when your bladder was bursting, would you have done so? Pardon the graphic question, but it makes the point. What kind of Christian would hold that many people in bondage to their chairs under penalty of rebuke (or a mark against you that could lead to expulsion from the training) if they had to get up and go? I knew of some who were on the verge of being violently ill from waiting for the clock to move to the position which allowed them to get out of their seat and run for the restroom. I found myself in that condition a number of times and once I was unable to get through the long restroom line before our break time was up between morning meetings, and I had to return to my chair for an additional hour of torture. This was Christian treatment? I used to hope and pray that my assigned seat would be near the restroom!
Geez. In three trainings "under" Lee, I think I left meetings at least 12 times to use the rest room, just get outside, or for some other reason. I am just astounded by your report here. The trainings I speak of were '94-'96. Did the atmosphere change? I couldn't imagine (and never would be able to) hold my ....

P.S. I admit that I had no problem being "that guy" - but no one gave be grief over it (except all the folks I had to scootch past to get to the aisle to leave...).
10-10-2008 11:47 AM
Thankful Jane
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toledo View Post
2) "{I}sn’t such serving of someone else other than God an act of idolatry?"
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toledo View Post

Idolatry has to do with the worship of idols. The "such serving" to which you refer would seem to be more of an act of disobedience. Eve ate an apple (whatever...), submitting to the serpent against God's word, yet the bible never calls her an idolater.

I'm not saying that you haven't put your finger on some very serious offenses in the local churches. Rather that calling it idolatry is forcing a definition that simply does not fit. As much as Cinderella's step-sisters tried, they could not get their feet into Prince Charming's glass slipper.

At the beginning of this thread djohnson kept referring to "Leeaholisim", a made up term, and Matt corrected him -- there is no such thing as "Leeaholism". Unfortunately, calling the problem idolatry doesn't fit any better (then insisting that everyone who ever met with the local churches bought into idolatry fits even less).
Dear Toledo,

I am planning to spend less time on the forum for awhile. During the past two weeks God has shown me that I need to redirect my focus for a period of time. I didn’t want to leave without responding about idolatry as I said I would, so here goes.

I choose to use this word/concept because it is biblical, is widely used in the Bible, and because it holds the possibility of grabbing our attention. I think we are not that different from God's people who have come before us, whom He often characterized as hard of hearing.

The following is my basic understanding of idolatry, as it applies to us as believers. It is not simplistic. It has come mostly from spending time with the Lord, reading His Word, and my experiences. I am not asking for, or expecting, agreement with my understanding. I share this because it has greatly helped me in my walk with Jesus and because I said I would. Maybe it will be helpful to some.

“Hallowed be thy name” has new meaning for me. I see now very clearly that the law of God’s house is holiness (Eze. 43:12) and that His name is to be held in the highest regard. If I am sinful and use His name loosely, I pollute it. If I am bowing to someone else’s dictates and still using His name, I am using it in vain.

The main point of what I am going to share is this: I believe that God views our deliberate obedience to voices/words/teachings other than His own as spiritual fornication. In other words, idolatry equals spiritual fornication and spiritual fornication equals idolatry. This sin began in the Garden of Eden and has continued to the present.

So to be very clear, when I speak of idolatry, I am not speaking of setting up a piece of stone or wood on an altar or making some kind of molten image and then bowing down before it. I am speaking of the very large picture of idolatry which is painted in the Old Testament that I believe is for our learning as Christians. In the Bible it is clear that God considers Himself to be husband to His people. He is jealous over His relationship with us as His people and expects us likewise to cling jealously to only Him.

It still holds true in the New Testament age that we are not to have other gods before Him. If I begin to practice bowing down and serving another god, which means I decide to submit to someone or something other than God Himself (even if I do so in under deception), then I am guilty of idolatry and of spiritual fornication. Rom 7 says that we become the servants of whoever we obey. According to this, if we walk in disobedience to God as a result of walking in obedience to another, we break the first commandment.

You may say that idolatry only begins with commandment #2 when we fashion something with our hands which we bow down and serve. I would say that when we reach that point, we are simply manifesting evidence that we have broken commandment #1. Idolatry starts in the heart and ends up manifested in something tangible. The LSM publishing company with its fully formed idol of “One Publication” today would be an example of such a visible manifestation of idolatry.

I believe that God sees having any other god as a violation of our relationship with Him in the same way that we view violation of a marriage relationship by fornication/adultery. In Jeremiah 3 God gave Israel (northern kindom) a bill of divorcement because of her adulteries. This, among other passages, shows clearly that He considered himself as the husband of the children of Israel.

Strong’s says:
zânâh
zaw-naw'
A primitive root (highly fed and therefore wanton); to commit adultery (usually of the female, and less often of simple fornication, rarely of involuntary ravishment); figuratively to commit idolatry (the Jewish people being regarded as the spouse of Jehovah): - (cause to) commit fornication, X continually, X great, (be an, play the) harlot, (cause to be, play the) whore, (commit, fall to) whoredom, (cause to) go a-whoring, whorish.

In the New Testament, fornication is figuratively the same as idolatry (see Gk. for the word “fornication”). The following verses show that there is a connection between our spirit and what we do with our body. If we commit fornication, our spirit becomes defiled and filthy and we lose fellowship with God. Bowing down to another god has the same affect on our spiritual condition. God does not hold us guiltless but considers that we hate Him (commandment #2).

1Co 6:15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of a harlot? God forbid.

1Co 6:16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to a harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.

1Co 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

I Cor. 6:17 with the word “joined” was used by Lee to support his “mingling” teaching and gave us the idea that this particular joining could not be undone. However, this word actually means in Gk. to glue, that is, (passively or reflexively) to stick (figuratively): - cleave, join (self), keep company. In the O. T. the corresponding word was “cleave” as in “cleave unto Him” (meaning cling or adhere to Him). I Co. 6:17 can more rightly be understood to mean that he that is adhered to or glued to the Lord is one spirit. We can become dirty and lose our adherence to Him. Just as in a marriage the relationship (joining) can be broken (put asunder) by unfaithfulness, so can we become separated experientially from our relationship with the Lord.

Mat 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder [separate].

This warning shows that what God joins together can be put asunder. A similar thought is found in the following verse. It shows how God views Christ’s relationship with us. He is adhering to us and gluing Himself to us. We are to respond in kind and cling to Him.

Eph 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined [Gk: proskollao – to glue to; to adhere to] unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

Eph 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Christ died for us so that we could have spiritual communication/fellowship with God in a state of holiness which became ours by faith in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. This intimate relationship between Christ and the church is a great mystery. Whenever, as Christians, we become contaminated by fornication (or by idolatry, obeying commands of others that bring us into disobedience to God), we lose fellowship with the holy God. He does not stop loving us, and works to bring us to repentance. If we exercise our spirit to pray while we are in an unrepentant state, we will not contact the holy God, and we can be snared into spiritual communication with the devil and fall prey to his wiles. The Bible makes it clear that we cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils.

1Co 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

1Co 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

Paul said that as believers we were espoused to one husband, Jesus Christ. He feared that we would be seduced.

2Co 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

2Co 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled [seduced] Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

The first seduction took place in the garden of Eden. It took place through the mind becoming corrupted by means of listening to the deceiving words of someone other than God.

Paul realized that seduction of believers came through the words of men who appeared to be apostles of Christ and ministers of righteousness. Just as Satan came in the garden of Eden as one bearing “light,” and corrupted Eve’s mind by communicating with her, he continues to do the same thing today. He best accomplishes this objective in a systematic way through the teachings of those who appear to be ministers of righteousness, but who are actually not.

2Co 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

2Co 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming [fashioning] themselves into the apostles of Christ.

2Co 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

2Co 11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Jesus told us repeatedly to keep his words, his commandments. He promised us that if we did this He and the Father would come and make their home with us. If, instead, we keep the words of others which lead us into disobedience to God’s words, we are allowing someone else to interfere in our new covenant relationship with God. I believe that God sees this kind of violation as seduction or fornication or idolatry.

Eph 5:6 (CLV) Let no one be seducing you through empty words because of these things the indignation of God is coming on the sons of stubbornness.

The New Covenant relationship is one of intimacy between God and each believer. It is far superior to the Old Covenant relationship between God and the children of Israel as shown in Hebrews. In the New Covenant, there is one mediator between us and God, Jesus, and no one should supersede His place in each of our lives or come between us and Him in any way. We have been betrothed to Him. Paul makes it clear that such superseding can take place through “words” or teachings spoken by others in order to seduce us away from the personal, intimate relationship we have with God as our God. (Only as we have an intimate relationship with Him first and foremost can we have a close, intimate, fellowship with one another in the church.)

1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

1Ti 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

1Ti 4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

Note that men who give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils speak lies as if they were truth (in hypocrisy). They have seared consciences. They lord it over people and use assumed “authority” in their teachings to control others (note that the words “forbidding” and “commanding” describe an exercise of “authority”). This is all too familiar.

In Revelation 17, the woman sitting on the scarlet colored beast having seven heads and ten horns is called “Mystery Babylon the Great, the Mother of the harlots [Gk: idolaters] and abominations [idolatries] of the Earth.” The kingdoms of the earth commit fornication with her. This shows that God considers such fornications to be more than something physical between human beings. There are spiritual fornications between the great woman and the evil world rulers. It is clear that the RCC today matches this woman, as do all religious systems (her daughters) who are like her. There are many who are not literally bowing down to stone or wooden idols, yet they are practicing idolatry by walking stubbornly in disobedience to Him and His Word and at the same time using His name. They inadvertently become involved with evil spiritual powers while praying and vainly using the name of Jesus. They become involved with another Jesus, another spirit.

This is a brief overview of what I believe. I think it is much safer to consider that the warnings of the O.T. concerning serving other gods have applicability to us and not just dismiss them as only referring to pagans who bow to blocks of wood or stone.

I have been convicted that God is a jealous God and that He is jealous over my New Covenant relationship with Him. I am to be likewise jealous over my relationship with Him and to remain faithful to Him. I am not to let others interfere with that most intimate and precious relationship for any reason.

Today, just as in Paul’s day, there are men who come as Christian leaders and fashion themselves as ones sent by God bearing light. They use their “light” to impress, attract, and seduce people to come under their control. They usurp the role of God in their involvement with other believers. They expect submission to their words, teachings, and instructions and believe this is their God-given prerogative. This phenomenon among believers is nothing less than the mystery of iniquity (lawlessness) that was already at work in Paul’s day. We should flee from such people.

We are the bride of Christ, espoused to him as a chaste virgin. We are to guard our relationship with Him jealously as we look to His soon coming. The Bible says that what God has joined together (yoked together) let no man separate. I have been set free to treasure Jesus and His Words and to reject the subtle, deceiving words of men. I do not have to give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons that come through men, “commanding” and “forbidding” and expecting me to obey their “authoritative” interpretations, teachings, and instructions.

I have given some thought to the repeated accusation on this thread that I believe “all” in the Local Churches are guilty of idolatry. No one has yet shown me where I said this. I have decided to make this very plain: I do not know who is guilty. That is something each person must determine for themselves. But, sadly, most in the LC don’t even know to ask the question. It is for that reason that I have spoken so strongly. I want to provoke those who read here to think seriously about this.

The simple truth is that it really doesn’t matter what I think or you or anyone else thinks about idolatry. What matters is what is true and what He judges to be the case.

Shouldn't we ask something like this:

"Lord, how do You view my relationship with You? Am I holding to or adhering to beliefs and practices which I received from other men that bring me into conflict with You? I am asking You to shine Your light on me and show me my case in your eyes so I can repent and be set free from anything that offends you, hurts my relationship with You, and hinders my prayers and effectiveness as a believer."

Also, if other men support us financially in our service to God, wouldn't it be wise to consider praying something to this effect:

"Lord, please judge me in the matter of money, especially as it relates to my serving You. I do not want to be found at Your coming to have been serving another master out of fear of my and my family’s needs not being met."

We are called to submit first and foremost to God and to look to Him for everything. We are expected to give way or yield to one another when truth or principle is not at stake. Where it is, our submission not only hurts us, it hurts others. As believers we need to recognize the difference between submitting to God and to something that appears to be of God. The line drawn is determined by the Holy Word understood under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. If the living One and the living Book forbid something, I must not do it, regardless of what any “minister of righteousness” says.

For this reason, I am responsible to know the Words of God and also to learn for myself to hear the Spirit speak. I will be without excuse in that day because as a participant in the wonderful New Covenant relationship with God which is mine by His amazing grace, I have been given His words to treasure, and I have been given His Holy Spirit to write them on my heart.

Thankful Jane
10-10-2008 11:04 AM
Thankful Jane
Re: The LCS Factor

Dear Toledo,

I am sorry for taking so long to respond to your last post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toledo View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane

If the broad brush doesn’t apply, it doesn’t apply. I still don't see anything wrong with broad brush observations, definitions, or applications. If people’s deeds cause them to fit under the picture that brush paints, then they apply to them. If they don’t fit, then they don’t apply.
So it's okay to make a general slur and insult on a wide group of people, then claim it doesn't apply to some of the individuals you included...? I'm sure you didn't mean this as ungraciously as it sounds.
I don’t know what you mean by my “general slur and insult on a wide group of people.” I have a hard time responding to things like this without knowing exactly what you are referring to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toledo View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane
I am assuming from what you say that you never submitted to any demands made by Witness Lee, but only appreciated his teachings. Am I correct about this?
To be fair, I was very much a young brother while WL was still alive. I had very few dealings directly with him. Except for keeping the rules of his various trainings, I cannot say that he ever made any particular demands on me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toledo View Post
And, yes, I appreciated his teachings, even as I appreciated the teachings of Lewis Sperry Chafer that were remarkably similar.
I, too, was young while I was under his ministry and I never had any direct dealings with Lee either, but I did submit to his control through the leaders where I was. The example of Lee’s training which you mentioned is a good one. W. Lee called it “training” and told us that this was different from the church. By this it seems he found a way to legitimize our submission to his dictates. His public behavior at the trainings was less than Christian on many occasions as he mercilessly berated people in front of others. Our willing submission eventually carried over into the “church.”

I sat quietly and watched at the trainings, praying I would never find myself in his gun sights. Of course, we were free to not attend—but only if we didn’t care about being “absolute” and if we didn’t mind facing the raised eyebrows of our vigilant leaders who were “watching over” the flock. On one hand, I didn’t want to come under their scrutiny, so I paid the price to go and submitted to the legitimized abuse. On the other, I also believed what I had been taught by our leaders--that God would meet us there and that WL had God’s up-to-date speaking. How could I miss out on that? Everyone else I knew who went to the trainings believed the same way. If they didn’t believe this, I never heard them say so.

I assume you submitted to his training rules, which included not leaving our seats before break time. If God himself had told you to get up and go to the restroom when your bladder was bursting, would you have done so? Pardon the graphic question, but it makes the point. What kind of Christian would hold that many people in bondage to their chairs under penalty of rebuke (or a mark against you that could lead to expulsion from the training) if they had to get up and go? I knew of some who were on the verge of being violently ill from waiting for the clock to move to the position which allowed them to get out of their seat and run for the restroom. I found myself in that condition a number of times and once I was unable to get through the long restroom line before our break time was up between morning meetings, and I had to return to my chair for an additional hour of torture. This was Christian treatment? I used to hope and pray that my assigned seat would be near the restroom!

I’m glad to hear that you read other materials. Did you ever share L. S. Chafer’s teachings in the meetings of the Local Church or mention him publicly (while still in an LSM church)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toledo View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane
Toledo, if a believer willingly submits to and obeys the demands of someone who tells them to do something that is against God’s word, isn’t such serving of someone else other than God an act of idolatry?
I cannot recall ever being asked to do anything against God's word. However, I realize that time is both a balm and an anesthetic -- maybe I have forgotten or have hidden away some lapse of conscience. Do you, perhaps, have an example that may refresh my memory. I am not at all sure of what you mean.
Did you sign the letter with approx. 400 other elders that stated that the leading of W. Lee was “indispensable to our oneness”? That would be to do something against God’s word. Only one person is indispensable to Christian oneness and it isn’t W. Lee. Also, did you support or participate in the lawsuit endeavors?

Thankful Jane
10-10-2008 10:33 AM
Thankful Jane
Re: The LCS Factor

Dear Ohio,

Sorry for the delayed response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I am more and more convinced that this matter of "guilt by association" has no merit in the age of grace. Israel is a pattern for our admonition, but the N.T. provides no basis for this. We are no longer judged by our parents bad behavior.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I still see no judgment upon all of Israel for the sin of one. This story is similar to Corinth. The whole church suffered thru the sin of one, but Paul's admonition was to purge out the old leaven, via godly fellowship with the offender, who did repent and was restored. Joshua was forced to examine Israel, and the idolator was judged by fire. Let's be careful not to misapply this type. If we judge all Israel because of the sin of one, then all Israel should be burnt with fire. If we judge all the church in like manner, will there be enough firewood in the world?
What? I don’t see “godly fellowship with the offender” in Corinthians. (Which verses show this?) I just see that he was put away from fellowship by the majority. I also see that Paul delivered him to Satan for the destruction of the flesh that his spirit could be saved in the day of Christ Jesus. I guess you could call that “godly fellowship” if you wanted to do so. He did repent, but it took a lot more than some kind of conversation with him.

I see that some have been arguing using the phrase “guilt by association” as if I had used this phrase; however, I think that it was you introduced it.

I guess you considered it was “guilt by association” when God judged the Israelites and 36 of them died in battle because of the sin of another (Achan), whom they were associated with by virtue of being part of the children of Israel. You said this idea was frightening to you. It is healthy for God’s judgment to strike a chord of fear in us. The Ai story also makes it clear that it wasn’t men on some kind of a witch hunt that found Achan, but it was God Who directed them to Achan. God is the one who pointed out the idolater. So this is not a story about man’s misjudgment, but God’s righteous actions through men who were willing to walk in the light with Him.

The real judgment that the children of Israel experienced at Ai was that they were defeated by their enemies. God was not with them in battle. Why not? Because of the sin of one person among them—sin that no one apparently knew about except for God. Their defeat was His way of telling everyone something was wrong. I didn’t write this story, God did. I guess He wasn’t afraid of sobering us by it.

Shouldn’t defeat by our enemies concern us? When we see the enemy prevailing, shouldn’t we humbly pray for God’s light on the situation and not start defendimg ourselves as innocent? The norm is blessing and victory, not cursing and defeat.

The children of Israel were warned in advance they would lose God’s blessing if they served other gods. They were told they would experience pestilence, the sword, famine, and beasts devouring them. God told them what the loss of blessing would look like, so that they would recognize when they had offended Him.

Many, many, years ago, we in the Local Churches began to suffer defeat at the hands of the devil. It has continued for decades. We lost the blessing and were put to shame repeatedly. Yet, we did nothing but press on blindly in our sin. We believed we were following God because we were absolutely following our leadership (a false belief taught by the men who were leading us), but the defeats among us were screaming otherwise. Instead of looking in the mirror, our leaders re-characterized our defeats by saying these were “attacks by the enemy.” We all nodded our heads and said “Amen.”

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
This matter of "guilt by association" frankly scares me, and that's why I have protested repeatedly. History is replete with martyrs slain by well-intentioned religious folks who felt they were serving God. I know this seems extreme, but an O.T. story was cited which ended in holocaust. (see Joshua 7.15) The RCC has used this same story to justify their diabolical schemes via slaughter of whole villages and prison inquisitions. How far do we carry out O.T. stories?
Again, the point is how does God see our situation? Have we suffered defeat by the enemy or not? Loss of marriages; our second generation turning away from God and living sinful, immoral lives; untimely deaths, lawsuits against Christian brothers; brother hating brother; boasting in riches; etc. When all is said and done, it really doesn’t matter what we say, but what God says. If I or others say that the reason for such loss of blessing is our serving other gods, do you really consider such a statement to be the same as the crimes of holocaust or inquisitions? Don’t you think that is a bit of exaggeration? Isn’t there at least a possibility that God might consider our behavior (bowing to others voices and commands) to be idolatrous?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Let me propose another thought for this story, based on the patterns of the N.T. All prospering congregations of believers have healthy oversight by elders. One of their roles at times is to examine the church in prayer and fellowship and seek the Lord for any reason that they are short of the Lord's blessing. Just as Joshua sought the Lord in prayer, the Lord may wait until some do this before He exposes some matter. Our Lord has a heart of love and blessing towards His people, but neither is He mocked.

The problem in the LC is that there was not healthy oversight and there was never any admission that the blessing was lost. If anyone dared suggest that this might have happened, then they and those in their tent who were targeted as the troublemakers... been there, done that... i.e., if you name a problem, you are the problem. (To me, this is similar to what has happened in the resistance shown to this topic on this thread.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
The tragedy of the LC's for decades was to look to Anaheim for the way of blessing and for the reasons for which there was no blessing. This has robbed the Lord of His rightful place as the Head of the church and the Son of Man walking in her midst. Anaheim became a rival to God's own Son. The "ministry" became a rival to His word. Hence, very little blessing exists in the LC's, to the point that some would even say there is a kind of curse upon them.

How is this different than what I said? The O.T. cursings and blessings were directly tied to God’s children having other gods. The ministry and leadership hierarchy among us took the place of God’s word and His direct headship over each of us; hence, it was another god. Some may claim now that they never submitted. I ask, then, where were their voices of objection in the past? Silence is consent. Silence is the equivalent of bowing and it produces culpability. If we saw the problem and were silent, we had part in closing the door on blessing and opening the door to cursing. We share responsibility for our being run over by every kind of evil. I believe that even now, many people ex-LSM folks still value the teachings of the ministry more than the pure Word of God. They treasure the ministry and still have it hidden under their tents.

Thankful Jane
10-01-2008 08:39 AM
UntoHim
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
They will listen to change from neither outsiders nor insiders
Yikes! Now just WHO does this remind you of? This is the kind of mindset that develops when people hear nothing but the constant harping that all outsiders are opposers and all insiders who disagree are rebellious. This did not happen over night.

Quote:
There are just no avenues open to them for reform.
Oh there is an avenue all right, it just does not have any off-ramps. When a group proclaims "we are the Lord's Recovery!" then why would there be any other avenues? Who would want to get off of such a glorious path?
10-01-2008 06:04 AM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post

"Oneness" is the "Golden Rule" of LSM-LCers. But their extreme insistence on "oneness" (as defined by them) cannot be correct since it has no provision for reform. In fact it is guaranteed to squelch most genuine reform, since history has shown time and time again that most genuine reform does not come from established leaders.
I have thought about this many times, and I believe it is perhaps the saddest thing about the future of the LC's. Their kind of oneness and view of "the ministry" precludes any opportunity for God to speak to them. They will listen to change from neither outsiders nor insiders. There are just no avenues open to them for reform.
09-29-2008 09:15 AM
Cal
Re: The LCS Factor

Well said, Shawn.
09-29-2008 07:59 AM
Shawn
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Debelak View Post
Hmmm...

I've always seen the human arrangements ordained by God as being more absolute and rigid than spritual realtionships. The very fact that Paul admonishes slaves to submit to their masters entails that submission to sovereieng human authorities is absolute, not conditioned on the "rightness" of the "master".

So, the first question would be whether God-ordained human authorities are to be followed rigidly.

The second question is whether spiritual authority should follow the same pattern as Ceasar, masters, parents and husbands.

Witness Lee used the analogy of parents, husbands etc... as a pattern. Is that right?

Peter
"It is not a shame to say to you that I write these things but to admonish you as my beloved children.
For though you have ten thousand guides in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

I Corinthians 4:14, 15


I think when Paul used the example of a father to his beloved children, he was refering to his position as it relates to the Corinthian believers he has been caring for. I think he was asking them to reciprocate by obeying him as a loving father. I think in a healthy family, Pauls word can be received, for honoring the ones who brought us into this world (or into the Kingdom of God)should be respected for the advice they give.

Unfortunately, ones in leadership positions may use Pauls example in a negative way, devoid of love, to force authority to a program that will not succeed except by forced adherance. Pauls thought and how God intended for families to work, is to respect the boundaries of the parent and the child, yet in love for the sake of the childs betterment, the parent offers advice to the child that will produce something good in the child. This is certianly not rigid, but intended to be carried out in a healthy environment.

The rigidity you refer to in our masters, bosses or enforcement agencies over us is intended outside the family, where authority is maintained for the good of society or the company as opposed for the advancing of the generations within the family, there is the need for tighter controls or laws, that ensure the enforcement.

Whether family or society, Pauls final exortation is to live before Christ as the final judge over all, for it is only before Him that we will give account for our actions and deeds.

"Therefore also we are determined, whether at home or abroad, to gain the honor of being well pleasing to Him.
For we must all be manifested before the judgement seat of Christ..."

II Corinthians 5:9, 10a
09-25-2008 08:04 AM
Cal
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suannehill View Post
I pondered this precise thing for weeks.
I did not participate in the Lee worship, and cringed when it began. I even spoke to the worst offenders. HOWEVER, I remained in fellowship with them. Does this mean that because I stayed... I participated in the deed?
Am I just as guilty for not walking away? Or was I keeping the oneness of the Faith by ignoring nonsense and still remaining in fellowship? I'm not being flip...I actually talk to the Lord about this.
Sue
I think it depends on what you mean by "remain in fellowship." If you continue to fully support the program, thinking that "oneness" trumps all, I believe that is an extreme which will produce all the problems we've been talking about.

"Oneness" is the "Golden Rule" of LSM-LCers. But their extreme insistence on "oneness" (as defined by them) cannot be correct since it has no provision for reform. In fact it is guaranteed to squelch most genuine reform, since history has shown time and time again that most genuine reform does not come from established leaders.

If you mean by "remain in fellowship" simply preserving a relationship with the believers as much as you can, I think that is proper and right. Most of us wouldn't reject fellowship with Catholics.
09-25-2008 07:33 AM
Cal
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suannehill View Post
Well, I've been a GLAer for over 30 years. This gives me some ground (not THE ground) to speak.
Gotta love it.
09-25-2008 07:14 AM
aron
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Debelak View Post
I've always seen the human arrangements ordained by God as being more absolute and rigid than spritual realtionships. The very fact that Paul admonishes slaves to submit to their masters entails that submission to sovereieng human authorities is absolute, not conditioned on the "rightness" of the "master".

So, the first question would be whether God-ordained human authorities are to be followed rigidly.

The second question is whether spiritual authority should follow the same pattern as Ceasar, masters, parents and husbands.

Witness Lee used the analogy of parents, husbands etc... as a pattern. Is that right?
A few points seem to indicate that "slaves, obey your masters" is conditional, at least in part, and not absolute, nor rigid. It is at least somewhat conditional on the behavior of the other, "authoritative" party.

First, Paul admonishes (in Rom. 12) the believers to, "as much as you are able, be at peace with all men". As much as you are able means there are times when you can't be at peace with other folks, in spite of your best efforts. Seems to me this might be germane to obedience/ruling relationships as well. I.e, as much as you are able, be obedient.

Second, the disciples of Jesus, when they ran afoul of the ruling authorities, in Acts chapter 4, for preaching the gospel of the resurrected Christ, said, "If we have to either obey God or obey men we will obey God." They were beaten and released and went right back to preaching and proclaiming, disobeying yet again the commands of the ruling authorities.

And yet Peter, one of the disobedient ones, admonishes in his epistle to be obedient to secular authorities ("obey the king"). So it seems to be conditional, both ways. Our job is to discern where "obeying men", the default mode, gets overridden by the "obey God" command. Sometimes the two conflict; often they do not.

Many who faithfully followed the LSM program for years bent over backward to be "one" with the ministry, and eventually it became too much. Obeying God meant saying "no" to the words of men.
09-25-2008 06:50 AM
YP0534
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suannehill View Post
Well, I've been a GLAer for over 30 years. This gives me some ground (not THE ground) to speak.
I pondered this precise thing for weeks.
I did not participate in the Lee worship, and cringed when it began. I even spoke to the worst offenders. HOWEVER, I remained in fellowship with them. Does this mean that because I stayed... I participated in the deed?
Am I just as guilty for not walking away? Or was I keeping the oneness of the Faith by ignoring nonsense and still remaining in fellowship? I'm not being flip...I actually talk to the Lord about this.
Sue
And I'll post a word on this point.

One time, at a training in Irving, I and another couple of brothers were instructed on how to pick up all the little bits of notebook paper that might have fallen along the pathway from brother Lee's apartment door to the podium, as a matter of service. We laughed among ourselves. We picked up paper. And we were disturbed about the veneration of this old Chinese fellow as a little Pope.

Did I participate in the idolatrous worship of Lee by picking up the trash?

Absolutely not.

Firstly, I did it as to the Lord.

Secondly, the bits of paper would eventually need to be picked up by someone, regardless of whether a Holy Man would soon pass that way or not.

Thirdly, we did not have the place in that setting to explain to the leading serving one how silly he sounded in his concern that the pathway appear perfect for His Worship's passage.

Finally, we realized that to the extent that there were those who may have held such a warped view, they appeared to our observation to be a distinct minority and most everyone we enjoyed fellowship with handled Christ pretty purely, at least as far as they had the light to do so.

I don't doubt that I could spin this little story up into an "I will not eat meat forever" mandate if I wanted to. I could say how, upon realization that some might perceive my paper-picking-up to be the Idolatry of Lee, I should have declined to do so for his conscience's sake (not mine, of course, as Paul clearly teaches concerning idols). But we had no clear leading not to pick up paper and so, the meeting hall was cleaned at least along that pathway and we did not worship any false god while doing so.

I haven't talked to those two brothers about this in all the years since.
I wonder if they remember that day as well as I do...
09-25-2008 05:48 AM
Suannehill
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio;3766...

[B
UntoHim,[/B] you parsed my post long and hard, yet I still don't see any support for the notion that TC and the GLA are all idolaters guilty by association.
Well, I've been a GLAer for over 30 years. This gives me some ground (not THE ground) to speak.
I pondered this precise thing for weeks.
I did not participate in the Lee worship, and cringed when it began. I even spoke to the worst offenders. HOWEVER, I remained in fellowship with them. Does this mean that because I stayed... I participated in the deed?
Am I just as guilty for not walking away? Or was I keeping the oneness of the Faith by ignoring nonsense and still remaining in fellowship? I'm not being flip...I actually talk to the Lord about this.
Sue
09-25-2008 05:33 AM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
In what little I have heard from Titus, I think his view of Witness Lee falls somewhere between the two (as does the BB's I think). Furthermore, the root of the disagreements between Chu and BB have little to nothing to do with their over-all view of Lee. The BBs simply want Chu to "do Lee" their way and present Lee their way....Titus has always chosen to do Lee and present Lee in his own way. I don't believe that they disagree on the end, just the means to that end. In some respects all I see from Titus Chu is a "re-packaging" of Lee's ministry with a little bit of personal spin to make it his own. This apparently infuriates the BBs and other non GLAers...why I don't know because Chu is one of the most close imitators of Witness Lee I have ever seen...and I have seen a lot.
The BB/CB disagreements over how each side plans to "do-Lee," was simply a "smokescreen" for a power struggle. The BB's used the One Pub Bull to force TC and the GLA into subjection. This is part of what Igzy means by idolatry by submission. I never saw or heard TC venerate WL, any more than exhortations to "stay close" to his ministry as an older servant of the Lord. TC actively received from the ministry of WL from 1953-1997, so it's hard to see any critic not saying that, "Titus Chu is a "re-packaging" of Lee's ministry with a little bit of personal spin to make it his own." Pretty harsh for one who admits to "what little I have heard from Titus."

UntoHim, you parsed my post long and hard, yet I still don't see any support for the notion that TC and the GLA are all idolaters guilty by association.
09-24-2008 07:40 PM
Peter Debelak
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
I think Jane means it is idolatry by submission.

But let's drill down on that a bit (as my pastor likes to say). LCers are expected to submit to their elders, who are expected to submit to the ministry. Let's suppose for a moment that the ministry teaches something which encourages what could be called idolatry.

Now transfer that scenario to a husband and wife. The wife is expected to submit to her husband, especially as a Christian. Say this is an Asian couple, the wife is saved and the husband worships idols, statues, false gods.

Now what is the wife expected to do to not partake in the husband's sins? Should she publically renounce idols? Should she remain quiet but refuse to participate in the idol worship? Should she leave her husband? What should she do?

LCers believe they are for all practical purposes as closely tied to the ministry as a wife is to her husband. What should they do?

As you can see, I'm still making the case of the problem being misplaced authority, not idolatry per se.
Hmmm...

I've always seen the human arrangements ordained by God as being more absolute and rigid than spritual realtionships. The very fact that Paul admonishes slaves to submit to their masters entails that submission to sovereieng human authorities is absolute, not conditioned on the "rightness" of the "master".

So, the first question would be whether God-ordained human authorities are to be followed rigidly.

The second question is whether spiritual authority should follow the same pattern as Ceasar, masters, parents and husbands.

Witness Lee used the analogy of parents, husbands etc... as a pattern. Is that right?

Peter
09-24-2008 01:03 PM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
...As you can see, I'm still making the case of the problem being misplaced authority, not idolatry per se.
Misplaced authority? Sounds a lot like cultural issues introduced to unsuspecting Americans. That has more to do with "most favorable nation" status than it does with idolatry.
09-24-2008 10:27 AM
Cal
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toledo View Post
So the implication is imputed idolatry by association?
I think Jane means it is idolatry by submission.

But let's drill down on that a bit (as my pastor likes to say). LCers are expected to submit to their elders, who are expected to submit to the ministry. Let's suppose for a moment that the ministry teaches something which encourages what could be called idolatry.

Now transfer that scenario to a husband and wife. The wife is expected to submit to her husband, especially as a Christian. Say this is an Asian couple, the wife is saved and the husband worships idols, statues, false gods.

Now what is the wife expected to do to not partake in the husband's sins? Should she publically renounce idols? Should she remain quiet but refuse to participate in the idol worship? Should she leave her husband? What should she do?

LCers believe they are for all practical purposes as closely tied to the ministry as a wife is to her husband. What should they do?

As you can see, I'm still making the case of the problem being misplaced authority, not idolatry per se.
09-24-2008 06:44 AM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toledo View Post
So the implication is imputed idolatry by association?

Yeah, that's pretty solid. Let's burn them all at the stake...
Not as solid as those abs of yours.
09-24-2008 06:35 AM
Toledo
Re: The LCS Factor

So the implication is imputed idolatry by association?

Yeah, that's pretty solid. Let's burn them all at the stake...
09-24-2008 05:38 AM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

A forum reader recently wrote me this:

The fundamental problem on this thread is the definitional difference.

1. Most people understand that idolatry means the worship of idols. This is clearly idolatry by participation. It is the act of "doing" idolatry.

2. Many people are willing to extend the definition to mean the unbalanced uplifting of something above God, idol or not, within our hearts. I'm personally not so sure about this definition's utility but it is at least a common enough definition to not be outrageous. Some have pointed out the Lord's words regarding adultery and lusting in this context as proof of concept. Again, I'm not so sure. But I'd refer to this definition as idolatry by imputation. It is the act of "being accounted as" idolatry.

3. Some posters here want to extend a definition that extends even further to apply to those who are merely in association with people who are "guilty" of having committed the sin of idolatry by imputation. I'd call this idolatry by association. There is some slight ground for it. All the Israelites died in the desert, except that Joshua and Caleb didn't. They were among the idolaters but, they were not condemned as idolaters themselves.

It is also important to read the entire context of Hebrews 3 and 4. The clear warning is that the believers who become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin will be excluded from the Sabbath rest. I don't think I've ever heard any of these posters arguing for this idolatry by association definition state that the problem is that you might lose the enjoyment of the kingdom reward. This is what the Bible could theoretically be extended to say.

Instead, these posters are wholly focused on the present relationships between the believers and insist that if you have been guilty of consorting with those who have the idolatry by imputation, you must repent of your own idolatry by association and "turn away" from them who can be accused of idolatry by imputation.

The loose and truly ignorant Bible interpretations are driving the issue. (It is just not ironic that a recent post concluded a citation with Heb. 4:11 without continuing to verse 12.)

Quote:
Heb 4:11 Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

Since we can fall into the same example of unbelief as the children of Israel, it seems prudent that we should study and understand their failures.


Regarding this quote, I'd just say, the Bible does NOT SAY that "we can fall into to the same example of unbelief" and the inability to rightly divide the Word is manifest. It does not say we can fall "into" an "example" because that doesn't even make sense. It say we can fall AFTER the example, which means, in a manner similar, not IDENTICAL, to, the example. (Not to say we can't also fall identically, but that's not what the passage discusses.) The result of such a falling is to miss God's rest.

Has one of these idolatry by association advocates EVER mentioned this scriptural truth even once in ALL of this useless talk? I could have missed it, but I do not think so.

It is because nothing being said is true at all. These posters have claimed again and again to only be concerned for the truth but they do not know truth a bit.

Don't shoot me I'm only the messenger.
09-23-2008 04:12 PM
Arizona
Re: The LCS Factor

All,

I have been following this banter regarding idolatry in the LC with some interest and would like to offer my own opinion on the subject (as I am wont to do).

First, as has been previously mentioned, I believe the major problem here is that a clear definition of "idolatry" has yet to be offered. Do the LC saints really idolize W Lee or his vision concerning the church? Or is it more a question of overexaltation,,, or hero worship,,,,, or maybe misplaced veneration? Many groups in the history of christianity have fallen into a somewhat similar pattern,,,, ie Wesley and the Methodists or Darby and the Brethren, and maybe Zinzindorf and the Moravians.

To my thinking, idolatry is a serious matter that concerns our very relationship with God. The OT speaks to wood and stone; gods created by man's own hand. These are false gods,,,, representations of the gods of our imagination, our own thoughts. In today's world we are surrounded by people who have created their own "image" of God. Americans are more subtlely deceived by their christian religious traditions in that many actually hold their culture as god instead of the true God as revealed through the scriptures and in the person of Jesus Christ.

The teachings of the inner-life saints, particularly in the late 1800's, brought us a more sophisticated concept concerning idolatry. I think we can realize that "images" can be held in our mind that are not according to the revealed truth of God's word. But I do think that these images must be concerning God Himself, ie His nature, His character, His love, His righteousness, etc. I do not know that we can classify over-appreciation as idolatry.

On the other hand, I dont have a problem with saying that any group, including the LC, is more than likely permeated with the personality; the spirit, the thought and concepts, of any one teacher that holds a predominate position. It is inevitable. W Lee certainly believed he was creating a new culture; a new language, new traditions, new dress, etc
The real question is whether this culture is the works of man's own hands, and does it really rise to the level of "idolatry".

Finally, I would say that the bottom line, for me, concerning idolatry, is that it is really man worshiping himself, as Lucifer looked at himself, and he was impressed with what he saw. Pride. The perversion of God's creation.

I have many opinions, but little time. May be God's mercy to you all.

Much grace.


Arizona
09-23-2008 01:42 PM
UntoHim
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Perhaps TC said it best when he testified, "I always viewed WL as a man, while the BB's viewed WL as god."....Maybe idolatry was in the undiscussed root of those disagreements.
In what little I have heard from Titus, I think his view of Witness Lee falls somewhere between the two (as does the BB's I think). Furthermore, the root of the disagreements between Chu and BB have little to nothing to do with their over-all view of Lee. The BBs simply want Chu to "do Lee" their way and present Lee their way....Titus has always chosen to do Lee and present Lee in his own way. I don't believe that they disagree on the end, just the means to that end. In some respects all I see from Titus Chu is a "re-packaging" of Lee's ministry with a little bit of personal spin to make it his own. This apparently infuriates the BBs and other non GLAers...why I don't know because Chu is one of the most close imitators of Witness Lee I have ever seen...and I have seen a lot.

Quote:
After all, we did get quarantined over what many thought was nonsense.
And aren't you thankful for that now?

Quote:
I would also add that Ron Kangas doesn't necessarily speak for all the current members of the LC's.
I never said that he did...but many of his public proclamations are certainly reflective of the general attitude that most members have held towards the person and work of Witness Lee. You say things are different in the Midwest...fine, but I must say that during my tenure in the Local Church I observed no such difference. I had occasional contact with a number of those from the Midwest (at trainings and conferences, including 10 day hospitality stints) and I don't recall any real noticeable difference...I guess things have changed over the past decade or so!

Quote:
Let's differentiate between BB speakers and LC members.
Well, you can if you want to, no problem. I will differentiate between the two at times, but at other times I may not. The BBs are the official leaders of the Local Church movement. Those LC members who chose to stay in the group are under their leadership and under their "ministry". In most places in the Free World this is a choice. Nobody is holding a gun to their head. They can get up and walk away, and I suggest that they do just that ASAP.

Quote:
I know many LC folks who never make it to the feasts, and rarely hear a LSM message.
Huh? Then what do they do at the meetings? Do they sing contemporary worship songs and read outlines by John MacArthur? Really, I'm curious, because what makes them "LC folks" if they are not hearing "LSM messages"?

Quote:
They are there for various reasons, but no one would say they have idolized a man. The program just is not as homogenized as sometimes it is portrayed here.
Ok, now you got me, I'm lost. What "program" are they in then?

Quote:
It would serve our discussion well if we substituted the BB'S for the LC's.
No, I don't think this would serve our discussion well at all. In fact it would have a tendency to confuse our discussions. I think by now we all know who is who and where they stand, and there is no need to substitute anybody for anybody else. If somebody's position or standing has been misrepresented, they can say so and then give a word of clarification. This is what discussion forums are all about!

Quote:
If the BB's promote some form of idolatry, let's identify that, rather than including lots of people we may know nothing about.
I think the BBs have been promoting the same form of idolatry that has existed and been promoted by Witness Lee and the Local Churches for decades. It seems that it has not been promoted to the same degree in different regions. We don't need to know anything about the individual members to make an assessment of a movement that has existed for many years. If any individual or any individual church chooses to remain associated with the LC movement and/or the LSM, then they stand the chance of falling under the umbrella of that assessment. This is not guilt by association, but rather a person or a group of people choosing to remain associated with a certain group that teaches and practices in a certain manner.
09-23-2008 11:53 AM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
Dear Ohio, I agree that blame primarily rests with the BB type leaders, but I don't think the rest of us can claim innocence because of this.
I am more and more convinced that this matter of "guilt by association" has no merit in the age of grace. Israel is a pattern for our admonition, but the N.T. provides no basis for this. We are no longer judged by our parents bad behavior.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
The story of Ai in Joshua 7 comes to mind. When there was sin in the camp, all Israel suffered, and God seemed to consider that all the children of Israel were guilty of the sin (Josh 7:11). All Israel had to submit to examination until the source of the sin was nailed down. It appears that all witnessed the discovery and the judgment. That's more of the sense I have about all of this. The way God alerted them that there was a problem in the first place was by letting Israel be defeated before their enemies. I think we've had major clues of such defeat for many for years, but those who should have done as Joshua did and rent their clothes, hit the dust, and then tracked down the problem failed to do so:
I still see no judgment upon all of Israel for the sin of one. This story is similar to Corinth. The whole church suffered thru the sin of one, but Paul's admonition was to purge out the old leaven, via godly fellowship with the offender, who did repent and was restored. Joshua was forced to examine Israel, and the idolator was judged by fire. Let's be careful not to misapply this type. If we judge all Israel because of the sin of one, then all Israel should be burnt with fire. If we judge all the church in like manner, will there be enough firewood in the world?

This matter of "guilt by association" frankly scares me, and that's why I have protested repeatedly. History is replete with martyrs slain by well-intentioned religious folks who felt they were serving God. I know this seems extreme, but an O.T. story was cited which ended in holocaust. (see Joshua 7.15) The RCC has used this same story to justify their diabolical schemes via slaughter of whole villages and prison inquisitions. How far do we carry out O.T. stories?

Let me propose another thought for this story, based on the patterns of the N.T. All prospering congregations of believers have healthy oversight by elders. One of their roles at times is to examine the church in prayer and fellowship and seek the Lord for any reason that they are short of the Lord's blessing. Just as Joshua sought the Lord in prayer, the Lord may wait until some do this before He exposes some matter. Our Lord has a heart of love and blessing towards His people, but neither is He mocked.

The tragedy of the LC's for decades was to look to Anaheim for the way of blessing and for the reasons for which there was no blessing. This has robbed the Lord of His rightful place as the Head of the church and the Son of Man walking in her midst. Anaheim became a rival to God's own Son. The "ministry" became a rival to His word. Hence, very little blessing exists in the LC's, to the point that some would even say there is a kind of curse upon them.
09-23-2008 08:39 AM
Cal
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
Dear Ohio,
I agree that blame primarily rests with the BB type leaders, but I don't think the rest of us can claim innocence because of this.
Again, you have to consider the moral dilemma some LCers are under due to their strong belief in maintaining oneness and submission.

If it is a sin to break oneness and to not submit, and it's also a sin to sue other Christians, quarantine over trivialities, or insist on one ministry, then which set of sins is worse? There's a damned if I do or don't dilemma at work. LCers are taught that almost nothing is worse than breaking oneness, or defying deputy authority. Many may recognize that sins are being committed by leadership, but do not think those sins "rise to the level" of allowing defiance or splitting away. Expecting an LCer to split from their leaders and church is like expecting a fish to breath air. It's totally against their breeding.

Is that in itself idolatry? Well, I guess you could call it that. I call it an imbalanced view of leadership and oneness which is bound to eventually issue in degradation by restricting the speaking and moving of the Holy Spirit.

Then again, perhaps calling it idolatry is the only way to convince people it's worse than breaking oneness.
09-23-2008 08:02 AM
Cal
Re: The LCS Factor

Let me interject that some of the misunderstanding probably comes in from the manifestedly different way things were done in the GLA (where Toledo, Ohio and SC are from) and Texas (where Jane and I were from).

I've been really shocked at some of the things the GLA elders have admitted to doing. Toledo spoke of watching movies and playing chess with brothers, and removing LSM's Fermentation book from a meeting he was leading.

Texas elders would have never done anything like that, especially the removing the LSM books part. So it's really foreign to me and probably to Jane to think of an LC segment which actually practiced freedom in Christ (Texas never really did, we all knew exactly what was permitted and what wasn't) and autonomy.

Let me emphasize that most Texas elders would have eaten a box of broken glass before any of them would have taken any action suggesting a book put out by LSM was inappropriate. None of them played sports, watched movies, read fiction or took part in any kind of "worldly activity" except perhaps "on the sly" or when visiting family.

All the members of the Texas churches were expected to behave the same way. Although there was a little sports among young brothers in the early 70s, by the late 70s all that was erased. We were expected to go to meetings, read the ministry, pray and pray-read, preach the gospel, serve, work or go to school, eat and sleep. Period.

I recently asked a current Texas elder if he ever watched entertainment on the TV he admitted to owning. He said no, for fear of "replacing Christ." So you can see the strict mindset endures.

So when Jane says "all," she's operating from that prism of complete order and conformity we saw in Texas. Obviously things were quite a bit different in the GLA.

Both you guys and Jane need to keep this in mind when talking about "all the LCs." Obviously there are some significant differences from region to region.
09-23-2008 06:51 AM
Thankful Jane
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Looking back over time, I guess there is a valid reason that the GLA was always considered "not in the flow" and that we had a "different taste." We were always looked at with suspicion since the earliest days.

Perhaps TC said it best when he testified, "I always viewed WL as a man, while the BB's viewed WL as god."

Possibly the growing chasm between LSM and the many other CB's was not merely a "difference of opinion" repackaged for sale as "teaching differently," no! Maybe idolatry was in the undiscussed root of those disagreements. After all, we did get quarantined over what many thought was nonsense.

I would also add that Ron Kangas doesn't necessarily speak for all the current members of the LC's. Let's differentiate between BB speakers and LC members. I know many LC folks who never make it to the feasts, and rarely hear a LSM message. They are there for various reasons, but no one would say they have idolized a man. The program just is not as homogenized as sometimes it is portrayed here. It would serve our discussion well if we substituted the BB'S for the LC's. If the BB's promote some form of idolatry, let's identify that, rather than including lots of people we may know nothing about.
Dear Ohio,

I agree that blame primarily rests with the BB type leaders, but I don't think the rest of us can claim innocence because of this. The story of Ai in Joshua 7 comes to mind. When there was sin in the camp, all Israel suffered, and God seemed to consider that all the children of Israel were guilty of the sin (Josh 7:11). All Israel had to submit to examination until the source of the sin was nailed down. It appears that all witnessed the discovery and the judgment. That's more of the sense I have about all of this. The way God alerted them that there was a problem in the first place was by letting Israel be defeated before their enemies. I think we've had major clues of such defeat for many for years, but those who should have done as Joshua did and rent their clothes, hit the dust, and then tracked down the problem failed to do so:

Jos 7:11
Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. [italics added by me]

There was only one who had brought an accursed thing into the camp, but God said "they," referring to Israel, had sinned. I offer this gently as food for thought. No hammer in hand.

I'm gone for the day.

TJ
09-23-2008 06:28 AM
Thankful Jane
Re: Answering your question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Dear sister Jane,

Thank you for your kind post. I appreciate this, and should extend the same apologizes to you for any offensive comment on my part.

Btw, you do have some measure of stature. You are very well respected. You handled yourself quite well in that interview, I might add.
Apology accepted. Thanks.
09-23-2008 05:52 AM
Ohio
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Some (many?) have stated that, to them, Witness Lee was nothing more then a “good Bible teacher”. Sorry, but my personal experience and close observation over the past 30+ years tells me that the vast, VAST majority of LC members view Witness Lee as something much, much more then a “Bible teacher”. I don’t think Ron Kangas was thinking of Lee as a mere Bible teacher when he proclaimed “we only accept the one minister with the one ministry for the age”... What I am hearing from a lot of you dear brothers out there is that you think you went for a swim in the pool but didn’t get wet.
Looking back over time, I guess there is a valid reason that the GLA was always considered "not in the flow" and that we had a "different taste." We were always looked at with suspicion since the earliest days.

Perhaps TC said it best when he testified, "I always viewed WL as a man, while the BB's viewed WL as god."

Possibly the growing chasm between LSM and the many other CB's was not merely a "difference of opinion" repackaged for sale as "teaching differently," no! Maybe idolatry was in the undiscussed root of those disagreements. After all, we did get quarantined over what many thought was nonsense.

I would also add that Ron Kangas doesn't necessarily speak for all the current members of the LC's. Let's differentiate between BB speakers and LC members. I know many LC folks who never make it to the feasts, and rarely hear a LSM message. They are there for various reasons, but no one would say they have idolized a man. The program just is not as homogenized as sometimes it is portrayed here. It would serve our discussion well if we substituted the BB'S for the LC's. If the BB's promote some form of idolatry, let's identify that, rather than including lots of people we may know nothing about.
09-23-2008 05:20 AM
Ohio
Re: Answering your question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
You are right. I'm sorry. I'll say no more about fair and balanced.

I don't have a stature, Ohio. I'm just a sister who loves Jesus, no more, no less. I do not feel unfriendly toward you. I just don't want to banter back and forth about the validity or method of discussing idolatry any more. I really want to talk with others about what the Bible says about it and be persuaded by that. If no one wants to do that, that will be fine. I'm sorry for being abrupt with you about this.

Thankful Jane
Dear sister Jane,

Thank you for your kind post. I appreciate this, and should extend the same apologizes to you for any offensive comment on my part.

Btw, you do have some measure of stature. You are very well respected. You handled yourself quite well in that interview, I might add.
09-22-2008 10:14 PM
Thankful Jane
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toledo View Post
Yes, I saw that book. It was place on every seat during a conference I gave with another brother in Willoughby, Ohio. I read the first few pages and determined that it was not something I would care to have the saints read....
Thanks for your answers and your good prayer. I say amen to it. I do have a lot of faith in the Spirit's ability to convict when conviction is needed. I also have no doubt you would repent if you were convicted.

I think that part of the problem we all have regarding this topic is lack of education. I doubt it's been the subject of many sermons given to believers . This may be because it isn't a worthy or applicable subject, but it could also be because we haven't seen it in His light. I think I remember WN or WL's teaching about the conscience, that it works in conjunction with its being taught or educated. It would make sense that if we don't understand what the spiritual application of idolatry is for us, that our conscience would not be able to function to convict us with clarity if we were guilty.

Well, this day is over according to my clock. Until I have more time ...

Thankful Jane
09-22-2008 09:30 PM
UntoHim
Re: The LCS Factor

Just as there are spiritual realities to the positive things typified and exemplified in the Old Testament (Christ as our living water, our bread, our rock, etc..) I don’t think it is too much of a stretch to say that there are spiritual realities to “negative” things as well. One such negative thing would be idolatry, I believe. Now, I don’t think you would find any people here in the 21st Century taking off their jewelry, melting it down and forming it into a golden calf, so just what could we expect that God might consider the modern version of idolatry among some of his wayward people in the here and now?

My thoughts from a previous post….
Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
My contention here would be very basic and very simple. Many, if not most, Local Churchers idolized the man Witness Lee. Many, if not most, idolized just about everything that came from this man’s mouth. Many, if not most, even idolized the “vision” that Lee and his co-workers so passionately and forcefully related to us day-in-and-day-out. Soon we found ourselves idolizing the man-made religion of the Local Church that spring forth from this vision. Some of the teachings and practices of this religion were biblical and good, many were arguably unbiblical and even harmful. The main point here would not be the percentage of good to bad or biblical to unbiblical, but that fact that a mere man and the teachings and practices themselves were idolized. Did we bow and worship the man Witness Lee? No, I never saw it. Did we literally bow down at the alter of the Life Studies and other speakings/writings of Nee and Lee? No, not literally. Did we climb to the top of a smoldering volcano and sacrifice our family members, spouses and children? No, I never saw it.
I am reminded by something John Myer wrote in the first chapter of “A Future and a Hope”: “They react to challenges with platitudes that do not really answer anything. These folks cannot be convinced by any logic. Truth is frightening to them – not doctrinal truth per se, since they allegedly love it, but truth as it relates to the real state of things

Believe you me brothers and sisters, there is no doubt that this is definitely a very serious and frightening matter. I don’t think anybody would say otherwise. Yet, what is the “truth as it relates to the real state of things” when it comes to this matter of the idolatry of a mere man and his so-called ministry in the Local Church? Some (many?) have stated that, to them, Witness Lee was nothing more then a “good Bible teacher”(paraphrase). Sorry, but my personal experience and close observation over the past 30+ years tells me that the vast, VAST majority of LC members view Witness Lee as something much, much more then a “Bible teacher”. I don’t think Ron Kangas was thinking of Lee as a mere Bible teacher when he proclaimed “we only accept the one minister with the one ministry for the age”. I will spare you all the many other outrageous and absurd statements made by leaders over the years that plainly and strongly indicate that there was some form of insidious idolatry taking place.

Frankly, in listening to Andrew Yu and Chris Wilde kowtowing before “the Bible answer man”, and even in reading some of the posts on this very forum, there seems to be quite a bit of skirting the truth as it relates to the real state of things – at least as it relates to the past and present in the Local Church of Witness Lee. Andrew and Chris sounded somewhat frightened (in their case, frightened that Hanegraaff might actually ask them a tough question), and now some here seem frightened to admit that there was/is some form, and some level, of idolatry in the LC. Of course no current (or even former) Local Churcher wants to readily admit that such a serious deviation of truth and practice has taken place among a group of Christians, but again, to deny this is to deny the truth as it relates to the real state of things I believe.

What I am talking about here is a very, very strong and pervasive dynamic (atmosphere) among a group of people. When one is immersed in such an atmosphere, it is virtually impossible for it not to affect one in many aspects of their life and even affect their relationship with God. What I am hearing from a lot of you dear brothers out there is that you think you went for a swim in the pool but didn’t get wet. Sorry, but this kind of claim certainly defies all logic and reason. Nobody here is claiming that any of you filled the pool with water, or even forced anybody to jump in. (I think we all know who did that). Let’s just not try to fool each other about what we are really dealing with here.
09-22-2008 08:48 PM
SpeakersCorner
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
Also, why do you feel it is necessary to falsely accuse me of something? Please tell me how you can know whether my puzzlement is real or not? You may not like what I write, but such an accusation is over the line.
TJ,

These two sentences which you directed at Toledo -- "So, if you can, please tell me what is the reason for the upset about the "all" word? This really puzzles me." -- don't ring true to me.

Anyone would know why a tar and feathering of an entire group would be offensive, particularly to people who were in (and maybe still somewhat in) that group. You're smart: you'd understand that.

Of course I can't say what's in your heart. I may be interpreting you wrongly. If so, I apologize.

I will now disappear into the night. This topic bores me immensely and I am sorry I jumped back in.


SC
09-22-2008 08:38 PM
SpeakersCorner
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
SC, please quote me where I made the used the word "all" loosely or "endorsed" it. If you can't you should retract your statement.

Also, why do you feel it is necessary to falsely accuse me of something? Please tell me how you can know whether my puzzlement is real or not? You may not like what I write, but such an accusation is over the line.
Jane,

I have neither the time nor interest in poring back through your many lengthy posts to prove whether or not you used the word "all" or not. Matt used it and you have endorsed his argument from the beginning. Even on this page you wrote:
Why is it so important that the word "all" not be used when talking about idolatry in the LC? The constant drum beat from a number of posters here is that all were not guilty. I don't believe I have ever said all were, in a blanket or generic fashion. I think I qualified it with some explanation of what I believed idolatry was, but again, why is this such a big deal?
Here you give implicit endorsement to the idea that all were guilty of idolatry. But this all seems a diversionary tactic. Why not state plainly where you stand on this all or nothing matter?

Let me put it to you plainly: Do you think "all" who met in the Lord's Recovery for any length of time were guilty of idolatry?

If you say no and draw a clear line at the level on the all or nothing continuum where you believe idolatry was practiced, I'll retract my previous post.


SC
09-22-2008 08:25 PM
Thankful Jane
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeakersCorner View Post
TJ,

I must butt in here. The word "all" means "all." There is no wiggle room with such absolute terms.

When a group of over ten people is described about just about anything, the word "all" seldom works. When the group is over a thousand, I would be tempted to say it never works ... but I don't use such absolute terms so loosely.

I'd advise you to drop the faux surprise at the response you and Matt have gotten from your endorsement of that term. It hurts your argument.


SC
SC, please quote me where I made the used the word "all" loosely or "endorsed" it. If you can't you should retract your statement.

Also, why do you feel it is necessary to falsely accuse me of something? Please tell me how you can know whether my puzzlement is real or not? You may not like what I write, but such an accusation is over the line.

Thankful Jane
09-22-2008 08:06 PM
Thankful Jane
Re: Answering your question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Quoting verses like this is not speaking the word of God, but rather the playing of games
You are right. I'm sorry. I'll say no more about fair and balanced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I do believe these things are far below the standard of a person of your stature. We have had a friendly relationship for three years now, and it's quite troubling to watch it deteriorate over this matter of idolatry.
I don't have a stature, Ohio. I'm just a sister who loves Jesus, no more, no less. I do not feel unfriendly toward you. I just don't want to banter back and forth about the validity or method of discussing idolatry any more. I really want to talk with others about what the Bible says about it and be persuaded by that. If no one wants to do that, that will be fine. I'm sorry for being abrupt with you about this.

Thankful Jane
09-22-2008 07:35 PM
Ohio
Re: Answering your question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post

Psa 24:3-5 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

Heb 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Maybe I should have quoted them and substituted in fair and balanced to make my point. “Who shall stand in His holy place? He that is fair and balanced...” or “Let us draw near with a fair and balanced heart.”
TJ, all these are precious verses for sure, but I'm not understanding the sarcasm you continue to fling my way ever since I made a general comment about our posts needing to be "fair and balanced." To be exact, the verses you quoted only speak of "drawing near," while the verse I initially referred to stated "the Lord is near," following Paul's exhortation to "let your forbearance be known to all men." -- Phil 4.5

My point at the time was that forbearance could be described as "fair and balanced." It seems really strange to me that you have made my simple expression the center of attention. Are you now going to play with all scripture by inserting my little expression? My introduction of "fair and balanced" was only to be a catch phrase for poster interactions, it was never intended to replace the "full assurance of faith" or a "pure heart" towards the Lord.

A thousand insertions like this don't negate my original point. Quoting verses like this is not speaking the word of God, but rather the playing of games. I do believe these things are far below the standard of a person of your stature. We have had a friendly relationship for three years now, and it's quite troubling to watch it deteriorate over this matter of idolatry.
09-22-2008 07:10 PM
SpeakersCorner
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
So, if you can, please tell me what is the reason for the upset about the "all" word? This really puzzles me.[/COLOR][/FONT]
TJ,

I must butt in here. The word "all" means "all." There is no wiggle room with such absolute terms.

When a group of over ten people is described about just about anything, the word "all" seldom works. When the group is over a thousand, I would be tempted to say it never works ... but I don't use such absolute terms so loosely.

I'd advise you to drop the faux surprise at the response you and Matt have gotten from your endorsement of that term. It hurts your argument.


SC
09-22-2008 06:36 PM
Toledo
Re: The LCS Factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post

1) Did you read or see the Fermentation of the Present Rebellion that was put out in 1990? Was that book circulated in the GLA?
Yes, I saw that book. It was place on every seat during a conference I gave with another brother in Willoughby, Ohio. I read the first few pages and determined that it was not something I would care to have the saints read. I thought the tone of the remarks was awful. So we boxed them all back up and put them away. I'm not sure whether any of the saints ever saw them or not.

I didn't look at that book again until a few days ago. I had seen it mentioned so much I thought I should read it. My assessment has changed: it is not simply that the tone was awful; its very content was awful. No wonder you saints have been bothered.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
2) Why is it so important that the word "all" not be used when talking about idolatry in the LC? The constant drum beat from a number of posters here is that all were not guilty. I don't believe I have ever said all were, in a blanket or generic fashion. I think I qualified it with some explanation of what I believed idolatry was, but again, why is this such a big deal?
You may indeed have qualified your remarks.