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Igzy 08-13-2008 02:13 PM

Signs of Spiritual Abuse by Steven Lambert
 
As posted at:
http://www.slm.org/trtdigst/articles/abuse.html

The Signs Of Spiritual Abuse
By Steven Lambert, ThD


Are you one of the many loyal and sincere church members who faithfully and cheerfully attend, support and participate in a local church, but have a nagging, persistent inward "thought" that "something is just not right here?"............

Then, you begin realizing, somehow, somewhere along the line you began losing your joy, your zeal for the Lord. It used to be you could hardly wait for the services and to be involved; now it is drudgery to go at all. You used to have such a light and blissful feeling as you worshiped the Lord in the services; now you just go through the motions, feeling heavy, staring placidly toward the platform, sometimes wishing you were somewhere else.....

"What on earth has happened to me? What's wrong with me?" you ask yourself. "Is it just me?" Then, you begin to look around the room and study other long-time members. You compare how they are now to how they were when they first came. Is their life, as it should be, appreciably better, or have they and their family experienced an inordinate share of tragedies, seemingly inexplicable difficulties, and reversals? By and by, you begin to realize that many of the other members have lost their "first love" too, their zeal, their enthusiasm, their joy in serving the Lord, and that, though Christians, like everyone else, certainly experience adversity, many of these members' lives have been on a gradual, downward spiral, instead of advancement and blessing.

Does this scenario sound familiar to you? If so, don't think you're alone—it's repeated several times every week by multitudes of sincere, faithful, and trusting believers. They've had this inward intuition for quite some time that something was just not right at their church or in their group, but just couldn't put their finger on precisely what it was. The teaching "sounded" right, all the right things were being said, good things were happening, many members were being "used" in various "ministries" of the church. Still, this nagging sense something is awry persists........

The following are some of the common signs and symptoms, or common characteristics, of authoritarian abuse manifest in hyper-authoritarian groups, churches, networks, and ministries....

1. Apotheosis of the leadership — exalting them to God-like status in and over the group;
2. Multi-level authority/government hierarchy;
3. Absolute authority of the leadership;
4. No real accountability of the leadership to the corporate body;
5. Hand-picked sub-leaders, based on their demonstration of submissiveness to the ultimate leader rather than on the basis of their leadership skills, spirituality, and anointing and appointment by God;
6. Pervasive abuse and misuse of authority in personal dealings with members;
7. Paranoia and insecurity by the leaders;
8. Abuse, misuse, and inordinate incidence of "church discipline;"
9. Personal materialism, covetousness, and self-aggrandizement by the leaders;
10. Members and/or sub-leaders must make a "spiritual covenant," sometimes a signed covenant agreement, pledging their total commitment and financial support to the leadership and church/ministry;
11. Partitioning of the group into smaller groups that are led by internally "raised up" lay-leaders who have not been anointed or appointed by God for leadership within the church;
12. Financial exploitation and enslavement of the members;
13. Inordinate attention to maintaining the public "image" of the ministry;
14. Doctrinal demeanment and devaluation — the requisite of espousing and teaching "sound doctrine" is demeaned and devalued;
15. Theological incompetency by the leadership, especially with respect to the rules of hermeneutics and Bible exegesis employed in the formulation of doctrine, giving license to twisting and adulteration of Scripture in order to provide proof-texts for unorthodox and invented doctrines;
16. Spiritualism, mysticism, and unproven doctrines;
17. Abuse and misuse of prophetic giftings as a means to dominate and intimidate;
18. Devaluation, disallowance, disregard, and displacement of the true Fivefold Ministry within the church;
19. De facto legalism, or works mentality, and its resulting loss of the "joy of salvation," though "freedom" is forever preached from the pulpit and the church is constantly touted as being a "safe church" by the leadership;
20. Esotericism — hidden agendas and requirements revealed to members only as they successfully advance through various stages of "spiritual enlightenment," i.e., unorthodox, unproven indigenous doctrines;
21. Isolationism — corporate and individual, especially with respect to exposure to outside ministry sources;
22. Performance-based approval and promotion system of members predicated on "proven" "loyalty" (i.e., submission) to the leadership;
23. Devaluation, suppression, and non-recognition of members' bona fide God-given talents, abilities, gifts, callings, and anointing, as a means of subjugation;
24. Requiring members to perform menial tasks, such as cleaning toilets, setting up chairs, and acting as the leader's personal valet or slave, as a supposed means to humble them and teach them to "obey their leaders;"
25. Constant indoctrination with a "group" or "family" mentality that impels members to exalt the corporate "life" and goals of the church-group over their personal goals, callings, and objectives;
26. Members are psychologically traumatized and indoctrinated with numerous improper fears and phobias aimed at keeping them reeling in diffidence and an over-dependence or co-dependence on their leaders and the corporate group;
27. Corporately, there eventually develops an inordinately high incidence of financial, marital, moral, psychological, mental, emotional, and medical problems, including sudden deaths and contraction of "incurable" and "unknown" diseases;
28. Lack of true personal spiritual growth and development, especially in terms of genuine faith and experiencing the abounding grace, forgiveness, goodness, blessings, kindness, and agape-love of God;
29. Members are required to obtain the approval or "witness" of their leader(s) for decisions regarding personal matters;
30. Frequent preaching from the pulpit regarding not getting out from under the "spiritual covering" of the leadership;
31. Members departing without the prior permission and blessing of the leadership leave the group under a cloud of manufactured suspicion, shame, and slander;
32. Horror stories frequently told by leaders about individuals or families who left the group without the prior permission and blessing of the leadership, and the terrible consequences and curses they suffered as a result;
33. Departing members often suffer from various psychological problems and display the classic symptoms associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Ohio 09-09-2008 05:24 AM

Igzy,

I remember when the "cult" comments were made about the LC, some leaders would reply that "cults have certain church-like qualities."

This statement was very disarming for me and I think many others.

Thankful Jane 09-09-2008 09:52 AM

Wow. Sounds like he has been there, done that.

TJ

Toledo 09-11-2008 01:38 PM

I dunno, I guess there are many varieties of the church life experience. I have heard of some of the 33 points, but frankly have not experienced any of them.

#1 ) I listened to testimonies about WL that bordered on apotheosis, and was bothered each time. I wondered why someone didn't tell the testifier that we only exalt Christ. I recognized WL as a terrific bible teacher, but no more. Nor was I ever encouraged to exalt him.

I do recall a time when someone quoted from one of WL's books to settle a doctrinal question. I replied, "I do not consider Brother Lee to be an authority". That did not go over well...

#2) I read a lot here about hierarchy. I suppose that to mean "Multi-level authority". Yet we were always quite firm that there is no higher authority than that of the local church. The churches are local; there is no central governing authority. That is to say, the elders in any given church were not subject to review from Anaheim or Cleveland (the co-workers, on the other hand, were under authority to the leading co-worker in their region, but not to any "higher authority").

#3) There was no "absolute authority" for any local elder. Always we were checked by the other elders. Plus the strong limitation of the Holy Spirit continually restricted us. If I overstepped, time and again I was compelled by my conscience to apologize.

I don't recognize any of the other points, except perhaps #24:
"Requiring members to perform menial tasks, such as cleaning toilets, setting up chairs..."

But that was seen as a Levitical service, rendered to the Lord and not to men. It was absolutely voluntary.

I never saw anyone ever required to act as a "leader's personal valet or slave".

I am not going to deny that much of this has happened in other places. I have read the testimonies. I simply affirm that such was not the case in the churches where I lived.

Ohio 09-12-2008 05:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Toledo (Post 3402)
#2) I read a lot here about hierarchy. I suppose that to mean "Multi-level authority". Yet we were always quite firm that there is no higher authority than that of the local church. The churches are local; there is no central governing authority. That is to say, the elders in any given church were not subject to review from Anaheim or Cleveland (the co-workers, on the other hand, were under authority to the leading co-worker in their region, but not to any "higher authority").

#3) There was no "absolute authority" for any local elder. Always we were checked by the other elders. Plus the strong limitation of the Holy Spirit continually restricted us. If I overstepped, time and again I was compelled by my conscience to apologize.

Toledo, you make it all sound so good, but ... not all leaders could maintain your independence in the face of an overpowering "leading co-worker in their region." One example of this independence, was that Toledo was one of the few churches which neither supported nor rejected the quarantine by public letter. Many times these "leading co-workers" overstepped their place, yet all the while publicly challenging, "who did I control?" Patterns of open humiliation become extremely powerful tools indeed to ensure that none dare to even raise an objection.

What exactly does that mean to be "under the authority." Some have testified that they had to violate their conscience to carry out directives of that "authority," or face serious repercussions, akin to abuse. Others felt like they were treated "like a dog" or an "African American" before the civil rights movement. What are the boundaries of that authority? Are there any at all? Doesn't the word "under" have vastly different connotations in different cultures?

How convenient does it then become when elders in the church are also workers "under the authority." Whole churches along with their other elders could then be very effectively controlled from headquarters. Isn't that a conflict of interest when the elders are also workers "under the authority"? For example, worker activities nearly always take precedence over church activities. And most definitely, the schedule of a worker/elder is determined by "the authority" rather than the church he serves.

I have seen some whose conscience got "re-trained" during their time in the work. "The authority" defined what was "right," and what the conscience should be bothered by. To "overstep" the saints may not require an "apology," if the directive came from "the authority," now would it? This phenomenon, in effect, reproduced bullies on many levels.

I understand that some things have changed recently, since the quarantine fiasco, but that does not negate decades of abuse and misconduct. You know more than I all the many gifted, precious, and fruitful brothers who have passed thru the GLA, and are now gone, but for no other reason, than they supposedly "had a problem" with "the authority."

Igzy 09-12-2008 08:41 AM

Toledo,

Benson Phillips said the Texas elders were vindicated in disciplining Jane Anderson thirty some-odd years ago because in 2006 thereabouts she publish a book in oppostion to his leadership. This is the spiritually abusive attitude we are talking about. Would you concede it exists at LSM, if not where you are?

ZNPaaneah 05-06-2013 03:33 PM

Re: Signs of Spiritual Abuse by Steven Lambert
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Igzy (Post 2041)
As posted at:
http://www.slm.org/trtdigst/articles/abuse.html

The Signs Of Spiritual Abuse
By Steven Lambert, ThD


Are you one of the many loyal and sincere church members who faithfully and cheerfully attend, support and participate in a local church, but have a nagging, persistent inward "thought" that "something is just not right here?"............

Then, you begin realizing, somehow, somewhere along the line you began losing your joy, your zeal for the Lord. It used to be you could hardly wait for the services and to be involved; now it is drudgery to go at all. You used to have such a light and blissful feeling as you worshiped the Lord in the services; now you just go through the motions, feeling heavy, staring placidly toward the platform, sometimes wishing you were somewhere else.....

"What on earth has happened to me? What's wrong with me?" you ask yourself. "Is it just me?" Then, you begin to look around the room and study other long-time members. You compare how they are now to how they were when they first came. Is their life, as it should be, appreciably better, or have they and their family experienced an inordinate share of tragedies, seemingly inexplicable difficulties, and reversals? By and by, you begin to realize that many of the other members have lost their "first love" too, their zeal, their enthusiasm, their joy in serving the Lord, and that, though Christians, like everyone else, certainly experience adversity, many of these members' lives have been on a gradual, downward spiral, instead of advancement and blessing.

Does this scenario sound familiar to you? If so, don't think you're alone—it's repeated several times every week by multitudes of sincere, faithful, and trusting believers. They've had this inward intuition for quite some time that something was just not right at their church or in their group, but just couldn't put their finger on precisely what it was. The teaching "sounded" right, all the right things were being said, good things were happening, many members were being "used" in various "ministries" of the church. Still, this nagging sense something is awry persists........

The following are some of the common signs and symptoms, or common characteristics, of authoritarian abuse manifest in hyper-authoritarian groups, churches, networks, and ministries....

1. Apotheosis of the leadership — exalting them to God-like status in and over the group;
2. Multi-level authority/government hierarchy;
3. Absolute authority of the leadership;
4. No real accountability of the leadership to the corporate body;
5. Hand-picked sub-leaders, based on their demonstration of submissiveness to the ultimate leader rather than on the basis of their leadership skills, spirituality, and anointing and appointment by God;
6. Pervasive abuse and misuse of authority in personal dealings with members;
7. Paranoia and insecurity by the leaders;
8. Abuse, misuse, and inordinate incidence of "church discipline;"
9. Personal materialism, covetousness, and self-aggrandizement by the leaders;
10. Members and/or sub-leaders must make a "spiritual covenant," sometimes a signed covenant agreement, pledging their total commitment and financial support to the leadership and church/ministry;
11. Partitioning of the group into smaller groups that are led by internally "raised up" lay-leaders who have not been anointed or appointed by God for leadership within the church;
12. Financial exploitation and enslavement of the members;
13. Inordinate attention to maintaining the public "image" of the ministry;
14. Doctrinal demeanment and devaluation — the requisite of espousing and teaching "sound doctrine" is demeaned and devalued;
15. Theological incompetency by the leadership, especially with respect to the rules of hermeneutics and Bible exegesis employed in the formulation of doctrine, giving license to twisting and adulteration of Scripture in order to provide proof-texts for unorthodox and invented doctrines;
16. Spiritualism, mysticism, and unproven doctrines;
17. Abuse and misuse of prophetic giftings as a means to dominate and intimidate;
18. Devaluation, disallowance, disregard, and displacement of the true Fivefold Ministry within the church;
19. De facto legalism, or works mentality, and its resulting loss of the "joy of salvation," though "freedom" is forever preached from the pulpit and the church is constantly touted as being a "safe church" by the leadership;
20. Esotericism — hidden agendas and requirements revealed to members only as they successfully advance through various stages of "spiritual enlightenment," i.e., unorthodox, unproven indigenous doctrines;
21. Isolationism — corporate and individual, especially with respect to exposure to outside ministry sources;
22. Performance-based approval and promotion system of members predicated on "proven" "loyalty" (i.e., submission) to the leadership;
23. Devaluation, suppression, and non-recognition of members' bona fide God-given talents, abilities, gifts, callings, and anointing, as a means of subjugation;
24. Requiring members to perform menial tasks, such as cleaning toilets, setting up chairs, and acting as the leader's personal valet or slave, as a supposed means to humble them and teach them to "obey their leaders;"
25. Constant indoctrination with a "group" or "family" mentality that impels members to exalt the corporate "life" and goals of the church-group over their personal goals, callings, and objectives;
26. Members are psychologically traumatized and indoctrinated with numerous improper fears and phobias aimed at keeping them reeling in diffidence and an over-dependence or co-dependence on their leaders and the corporate group;
27. Corporately, there eventually develops an inordinately high incidence of financial, marital, moral, psychological, mental, emotional, and medical problems, including sudden deaths and contraction of "incurable" and "unknown" diseases;
28. Lack of true personal spiritual growth and development, especially in terms of genuine faith and experiencing the abounding grace, forgiveness, goodness, blessings, kindness, and agape-love of God;
29. Members are required to obtain the approval or "witness" of their leader(s) for decisions regarding personal matters;
30. Frequent preaching from the pulpit regarding not getting out from under the "spiritual covering" of the leadership;
31. Members departing without the prior permission and blessing of the leadership leave the group under a cloud of manufactured suspicion, shame, and slander;
32. Horror stories frequently told by leaders about individuals or families who left the group without the prior permission and blessing of the leadership, and the terrible consequences and curses they suffered as a result;
33. Departing members often suffer from various psychological problems and display the classic symptoms associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

I would argue that the spiritual abuse took place in the LRC as a result of WL being a false teacher. It appears that the major point of contention over the description of false teachers by Peter applying to Witness Lee is the point that “they even deny the master who bought them”.

Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and to every good work reprobate.

I don’t care that WL “professed to know God”, I am concerned with his works. Did he deny the Lord with his works?

Were his works abominable, causing moral revulsion? Several of the stories on this forum have caused me moral revulsion. “He that condemns the righteous and he that justifies the wicked. Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.” Also, “he that soweth discord among brethren” is an abomination to the Lord. It is not necessary to recount the abominable acts here unless someone disagrees that the sins we know we can ascribe to WL rise to this level.

Was Witness Lee disobedient, refusing to obey rules or someone in authority? I would say yes. If someone can point to anyone in authority that Witness Lee obeyed since 1978 (the year I began to meet with the LRC) then that would go a long way towards proving that this does not describe him. But if over 20 years in the US and you cannot refer to a single person in authority that Witness Lee obeyed then I think that proves he was disobedient.

Was Witness Lee reprobate to every good work? Was he an unprincipled person, was he “wicked”? Proverbs 18:3 “When the wicked cometh, there cometh also contempt, And with ignominy [cometh] reproach.” No one can deny that this forum has brought contempt, ignominy and reproach to Witness Lee. To fabricate a story about WN’s excommunication is unprincipled. To accuse innocent sister’s of a rebellion and then have them excommunicated as a smokescreen to cover for your son’s lasciviousness is unprincipled. To publish a whitewash of the events is unprincipled. Even Witness Lee admitted he would have been ashamed to see WN after the Daystar fiasco because he violated certain principles that WN taught. According to the book of Proverbs we have made a very strong case that Witness Lee was reprobate to every good work.

Conclusion

The key point for me was realizing that Witness Lee fabricated a story about Watchman Nee. The story made the elders who disciplined WN appear shameful and incompetent without telling their side of the story that would have justified their action. Witness Lee’s story of WN’s excommunication left out critical details, it put the blame on the elders when in light of all the facts they seem to have been justified in their concern, and it was self serving for Witness Lee and his claim to be the continuation of WN’s ministry. Even if WN was innocent of these charges they were still critical to the story because even the appearance of sin is a valid reason for the elders to be concerned. Likewise because of the “self serving” nature of WL’s account it also, at the very least, has the appearance of evil.

If a person is a liar you treat them differently, I am no longer interested in what you say but rather what you do. As a result my question is “did WL deny the Lord with his works”?

To me, all of these symptoms of spiritual abuse are really symptoms of a false teacher.

Ohio 05-07-2013 07:36 AM

Re: Signs of Spiritual Abuse by Steven Lambert
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah (Post 25580)
Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and to every good work reprobate.

I don’t care that WL “professed to know God”, I am concerned with his works. Did he deny the Lord with his works?

Were his works abominable, causing moral revulsion? Several of the stories on this forum have caused me moral revulsion. “He that condemns the righteous and he that justifies the wicked. Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.” Proverbs 17.15

Since the time I first read John Ingalls account "Speaking The Truth In Love," there began to grow within a certain moral revulsion to the activities of Witness Lee, his family, and his most ardent supporters. How could Lee condemn Ingalls and other godly men as "leprous rebels" for speaking the truth in order to protect God's children? How could Lee protect his own sons from criminal and moral culpability?

This verse in Proverbs 17.15 speak volumes. "He (specifically Witness Lee in meetings recorded in "Fermentation of the Present Rebellion") that condemns the righteous (that is John Ingalls and the other elders in Anaheim) and he (once again Witness Lee and his closest co-workers) that justifies the wicked (specifically his profligate son Philip Lee who more than once was caught molesting sisters in the act of adultery.) Both of them (Witness Lee is guilty on both counts) alike are an abomination to the Lord.

Anyone who lived through that awful period in the Recovery in the late 80's and early 90's should read John Ingalls' account of events in the light of this scripture.

ZNPaaneah 05-07-2013 08:47 AM

Re: Signs of Spiritual Abuse by Steven Lambert
 
Do you agree that by his works WL denied God?

Ohio 05-07-2013 08:34 PM

Abomination to Jehovah
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah (Post 25594)
Do you agree that by his works WL denied God?

I think so. Proverbs 17.15 is quite convicting: "He that justifies the wicked, and he that condemns the righteous, Both of them alike are an abomination to Jehovah." The Lord calls what happened with Philip Lee and John Ingalls an "abomination." That's one of those words in the Bible that raises eyebrows, and looking into all the facts surrounding this case, there has never been so obvious a conclusion. Witness Lee condemned the righteous John Ingalls and justified his wicked son Philip. There's just not another way to look at this. Proverbs tells us how the Lord considers these actions by Witness Lee an abomination.

This New Testament verse parallels the proverb -- Titus 1:16 "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and to every good work reprobate. Witness Lee's works surrounding all the so-called storms in the Recovery now define him.

Let me give another of my bad examples based on recent events in the forefront of national news. Since I was born and raised in Cleveland's west side, perhaps these events are more striking to me, but there is some analogy to be drawn. For years this Castro perp has lived a life apparently well liked by all his peers. He was charming and charismatic to young and old alike. Then one day we all discover that he had locked up a few girls in the basement of his house.

I noticed that no one is now minimizing his "misdeeds" with the usual excuses such as "nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes, give the guy a break, everyone is entitled to a second chance, this is America after all." None such talk. Why? Because young girls got hurt. Over a long period of time. Seriously and irreparably hurt. He schemed and connived his selfish interests at the expense of others' lives. No one will ever look back and say that ole Castro was a great guy, drove a school bus, loved kids, and was liked by everybody. All that will be forgotten. They will only remember the pain of the lives he destroyed.

Such it is with Witness Lee. In order to protect his wayward sons, he was willing to conceive the most horrendous of schemes. He would sacrifice hundreds of God's children, willing to destroy their integrity, in craftiness devising deceptions to ruin them and thus condemn the righteous, while maintaining the singular goal of preserving the family name, even though that family was plagued with wickedness. The Lord called this an abomination. The apostle Paul said that "by their works they deny Him."

ZNPaaneah 05-08-2013 04:47 AM

Re: Abomination to jehovah
 
Thanks for a great response.

Next question. The Lord said "you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free". This thread is about the abuse of power of church authority/hierarchy. These many symptoms have been provided because of the close correlation to what is happening in many LRC churches. Do you think knowing the truth concerning WL will result in saints being "set free"?

Ohio 05-08-2013 06:22 AM

Abomination to Jehovah
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah (Post 25633)
Next question. The Lord said "you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free". This thread is about the abuse of power of church authority/hierarchy. These many symptoms have been provided because of the close correlation to what is happening in many LRC churches. Do you think knowing the truth concerning WL will result in saints being "set free"?

There is an incredible irony which played out from the internal Recovery rivalries between Anaheim and Cleveland which resulted in the Whistler Quarantine of October 2006. For many years leading up to this, both sides jockeyed their "horses" like it was the Kentucky Derby. Both sides had built their own "camps," backbiting their opponents, sowing seeds of distrust, playing the politics and spinning their versions of events. Then both sides went viral with letter and tract writing schemes to sway the remaining "independents."

Hidden among those "concerned" brother and "faithful word" websites were some basic truths which exposed both sides for what they really were. For those who went the extra mile to discover what really was happening, light began to shine on the captives and set them free. Internet buzz brought out the writings of those brothers who departed during the last quarantine. For the first time, many of us who had endured that fiery ordeal of the late 80's came across the accounts of John So, John Ingalls, Don Hardy, Albert Zehr, and Bill Mallon.

To wake up one day and realize that one had been deceived for decades is sobering indeed. It forces a certain amount of further examination and soul-searching of one's life and history. As is often the case, we can be lulled to sleep over time without being alarmed by the course of daily events. Once we step away from the busy program and examine 30 years of history all at once, the conclusions become overwhelming.

This is what Witness Lee called being "poisoned." In Recovery parlance to be "poisoned" is to know the truth and be set free. Lee's goal was to keep us daily occupied with all the "positive" things of the churchlife, never confronting any "negative" things, so that we never stop to examine, investigate, or prove what was really happening. This is why Lee continually warned us with "inoculations." It was never in his best interest for any member to check out the facts. Knowing the truth was too dangerous. Knowing the truth might set the captives free.

Terry 05-08-2013 05:34 PM

Re: Signs of Spiritual Abuse by Steven Lambert
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Igzy (Post 3430)

Benson Phillips said the Texas elders were vindicated in disciplining Jane Anderson thirty some-odd years ago because in 2006 thereabouts she publish a book in oppostion to his leadership. This is the spiritually abusive attitude we are talking about.

As I understand the discipline took place in 1977/78 and as Igzy points out the book came out in 2006 where Benson aka Dan had a minor role. What's no brought out here are the number of occurrences John and Jane sought to have face to face fellowship with Benson whether in Texas or coming to Anaheim. Okay, it's one thing if you do not want to take care of a relationship, but claiming vindication? What I sense is a spirit that does not know humility.

ZNPaaneah 05-09-2013 04:25 AM

Re: Signs of Spiritual Abuse by Steven Lambert
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Igzy (Post 3430)
Toledo,

Benson Phillips said the Texas elders were vindicated in disciplining Jane Anderson thirty some-odd years ago because in 2006 thereabouts she publish a book in oppostion to his leadership. This is the spiritually abusive attitude we are talking about. Would you concede it exists at LSM, if not where you are?

This reasoning reminds me of the old test for witchcraft. Throw the woman into the water, if she sinks she was innocent, if she floats she is guilty.

Proverbs 29:27b "he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked."

Igzy 05-09-2013 08:40 AM

Re: Signs of Spiritual Abuse by Steven Lambert
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah (Post 25644)
This reasoning reminds me of the old test for witchcraft. Throw the woman into the water, if she sinks she was innocent, if she floats she is guilty.

I think it was the other way around, but I get your point.

ZNPaaneah 05-09-2013 09:26 AM

Re: Signs of Spiritual Abuse by Steven Lambert
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Igzy (Post 25646)
I think it was the other way around, but I get your point.

No, that is correct, I double checked. However, they usually had a rope attached so if she sunk it didn't necessarily mean she died.

Ohio 05-09-2013 12:09 PM

Re: Signs of Spiritual Abuse by Steven Lambert
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah (Post 25644)
This reasoning reminds me of the old test for witchcraft. Throw the woman into the water, if she sinks she was innocent, if she floats she is guilty.

Is that where they got the expression, "damned if you do, and damned if you don't."

Terry 05-09-2013 12:35 PM

Re: Signs of Spiritual Abuse by Steven Lambert
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ohio (Post 25648)
Is that where they got the expression, "damned if you do, and damned if you don't."

When I was a kid, we had a saying just as applicable. "Heads I win, tails you lose."

This is the outcome in the Recovery when it pertains to disciplines. The brothers are never wrong or hastily with their decisions. As they as the brothers in leadership are considered the Deputy Authority. Say for example a sister in Texas, a couple in California, and a brother in Washington, an accepted LC phrase "just get right with the brothers" is the protocol that you bear the responsibility. Never is it as I have told Indiana on many an occasion, "the brothers need to get right with you".

Where the expression "heads I win, tails you lose" becomes relevant for this forum's discussion is these saints through their silence qualifies the brothers decision as just. When saints speak to defend themselves, it is regarded as vindicating the brothers decision as Igzy brought out in post #6 of this thread.

When it pertains to former elders being described as ambitious, I have asked "where is the ambition? They have no ministry per se; in an organized way" The response is usually "You will know them by their fruits. " Whether a former elder has ambition for an organized ministry or just to minister Christ, that portion from the Gospel of Matthew is used to somehow justify a brother's quarantine. What it all amounts to if you're a former elder or just a general brother or sister who has been disciplined, don't expect fairness and don't expect impartiality. Accept when one door for fellowship has closed, another door for fellowship is opening.

ZNPaaneah 05-10-2013 04:37 AM

Re: Abomination to Jehovah
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ohio (Post 25619)
Such it is with Witness Lee. In order to protect his wayward sons, he was willing to conceive the most horrendous of schemes. He would sacrifice hundreds of God's children, willing to destroy their integrity, in craftiness devising deceptions to ruin them and thus condemn the righteous, while maintaining the singular goal of preserving the family name, even though that family was plagued with wickedness. The Lord called this an abomination. The apostle Paul said that "by their works they deny Him."

Well, if you agree that Titus 1:16 applies to Witness Lee, then do you also agree that
Titus 1:10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
1:11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.

Also applies to Witness Lee? From the context these verses by Paul apply to the same people.

Unruly -- similar to disobedient or litigious
Vain Talkers -- could refer to the doctrine of "one church one city" and also the "MOTA"
Deceivers -- could refer to some of the more abominable acts of WL as well as the story of WN's excommunication.
"for filthy lucre's sake" -- could refer to DayStar, LSM, and other schemes

Ohio 05-10-2013 10:36 AM

Titus 1:10-16 Correcting False Teachers
 
The Apostle Paul's word here to Titus has more than incidental reference to the actions of Witness Lee and LSM. Let's remember Lee's constant admonitions that he and his "office" must be considered as one by all the churches. We must consider all the paid staff at LSM to be one corporate entity, whether Witness Lee, his son Philip, today's blended brothers, or DCP. Only the volunteer help is exempt.

10 For there are many unruly men, vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision,

Paul's word primarily addressed those whose agenda was the control and perpetuation of the Jewish traditions headquartered in Jerusalem, but was by no means limited to them. How many times did we see unruly men, vain talkers, and deceivers come from Anaheim with vain promises of new agendas to upset the local churches? Their motive was to always bring us under their domination.

11 Whose mouths must be stopped; men who overthrow whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.

Some did try to stop these ones. Their reputations, however, were destroyed and they were ousted from the fellowship. Many households were overthrown by the divisions forced upon them. All were required to choose sides, and some households had 2 or 3 sides to choose from.

History tells us that Daystar debts "forced" Lee to begin charging for his ministry at the recommendation of Philip. Training "donations" and standing orders became quite "lucre-tive" for LSM. One might legitimately ask, especially since Philip Lee was at the helm, if the sole purpose for the Life-Study trainings was filthy lucre. Daystar collapse exactly corresponded with absolving of The Stream Publishers and the initiation of LSM and the Life-Study trainings.

12 One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, idle gluttons.

From all accounts of Philip Lee, this verse best describes him.

13 This testimony is true. For which cause reprove them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith,

When Max Rapoport attempted in 1977 to reprove Philip Lee for molesting a sister at the LSM offices, Philip exploded at a public restaurant. Witness Lee responded by fabricating a "sisters' rebellion" and publicly shamed Sandee Rapoport in retaliation. This was a Chinese tradition when dealing with one's opponents. Even rotten American politics refrains from this method of response.

Max attempted to restore workplace ethics at LSM, that this Christian ministry might be sound in the faith. Obviously, the leadership at LSM had "higher" priorities. Ten years later, it was John Ingalls who attempted this again, with similar results. We should note that both Witness Lee and his son Philip, together with today's upper management at LSM, were all like-minded and complicit to silence Max, John, and many others by any means available.

14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men who turn away from the truth.

One of the ways LSM used to spin their "storm" stories to the rest of the Recovery, was to fabricate a fable about Witness Lee being the minister of the age (MOTA,) the acting god, and the commander in chief of God's army. He was elevated as the consummate finale in the genealogy of MOTAs commencing with Martin Luther. All of these claims robbed the Head of the body of His rightful place. Numerous traditions of Watchman Nee were used to develop new commandments of men to turn the saints from the truth in God's word to the teachings of Lee.

15 To the pure all things are pure: but to them that are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.

It is tragic to have watched many endeavor to be absolutely "one with the ministry" at the expense of their own conscience. Many dear brothers discarded brotherly love in the process, and still more back-stabbed their brothers, all with the goal of being "one" with Witness Lee and his ministry. The Bible states that our oneness is of Christ alone, but evil teachings were disseminated to the contrary. The thinking of many dear believers became defiled. Their relationship with the Savior himself took second place to their loyalty to Lee.

16 They profess that they know God; but by their works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

LSM loves to boast in their riches and how they know God, but sadly the Christian public has seen little of this. Instead they know how often LSM was willing to file lawsuits against other Christians. There's hardly a Christian on earth who would not consider LSM's $136 million lawsuit against Heritage House as filthy lucre. Since I Cor. 6 specifically addresses lawsuits, the Local Churches have a reputation for being blatantly disobedient to God's word. Claiming to be "god," even with their caveat of "not in the Godhead," is abominable to most genuine believers. And where are their "good works?" Instead what they do and teach appears to deny Him.

ZNPaaneah 05-11-2013 05:47 AM

Re: Titus 1:10-16 Correcting False Teachers
 
When I was in the LRC I soon learned that there were some "vain talkers", the people who taught others to "parrot" Witness Lee for example. I took the approach to ignore them, I thought that a head on confrontation was not wise. However, here Paul says "there mouths must be stopped" and I now see that their word spread as gangrene so that the church was put under some stupid Judaizer law of everyone being a parrot of Witness Lee, a concept straight from the concision all for filthy lucre's sake.

If you ask how do you "stop their mouths" seeing as those that did confront these ones were disciplined, maligned and booted. It seems obvious that the proper approach is

Heb
11:33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
11:34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

The antidote to mindless parroting is clearly a word of faith.

Paul says to "reprove them sharply" because this testimony is true. His point is they should be reproved sharply for gluttony, sloth, lies and evil deeds.

The LRC is not "sound in the faith". To allow a man with the character of PL to be in an oversight position of the ministry is a symptom of their error. To allow and even finance the unruly behavior of lawsuits is a symptom. To allow vain talkers to convince everyone to mindlessly parrot WL's words is a symptom.

Giving ear to this "Jewish fable" about MOTA's is a symptom.

To heed commandments, like "one city one church" from men that turn from the faith is a symptom. The items of the Christian faith are very plainly written in the NT and "one city one church" is not one of them. Likewise, the "ground" of the church is also very clear in the NT, the ground that Jesus is building His church on was purchased with Jesus' sin offering on Calvary. To deny that the redeemed of the Lord are the ground is to turn from the faith.

Being blinded because these ones "profess to know God" while they are denying God by their works is a symptom.

Ohio 05-11-2013 09:01 AM

Re: Titus 1:10-16 Correcting False Teachers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah (Post 25659)
When I was in the LRC I soon learned that there were some "vain talkers", the people who taught others to "parrot" Witness Lee for example.

Titus Chu and the GLA were a total paradox of values when it came to Witness Lee and his cadre of supporters. Titus taught us to receive everything from Witness Lee, but nothing from those he surrounded himself with. Titus Chu viewed Lee as his own spiritual father, a spiritual man unparalleled on the earth at the time, yet had no respect for the lackeys hand-picked by Lee to facilitate his many programs. I don't know how Titus reconciled this stark disconnect in his own mind other than by his oft-used Chinese maxim, "the mistakes of my father are none of my business."

We never bought into the "Witness Lee parroting" that spread during the New Way of the 80's. We viewed it as one more instance of those dunces kissing up to Lee. It was really not until the FTTA began, with the constant recruiting during the trainings, did LSM nonsense begin to seriously affect us. GLA leaders knew that Titus was some kind of "umbrella" protecting us from all the crazies out there, but never did the topic come up that perhaps the source of the problems was Witness Lee himself. Instead we viewed ourselves as the "purer" and more spiritual segment of the Recovery.

The FTTA was definitely a toxic influence. Many of those young people who joined it, most with lofty expectations, eventually turned against the GLA leadership. Trainers actively undermined the relationship they had with their sending family and church. Brothers like Chuck Debelak were instrumental in restoring these young trainees to the healthy faith upon returning from the FTTA. Many others were lost.

Over time I have been convinced that Titus adopted this contradictory paradigm relationship with Lee and LSM because of his intentions to one day lead the Recovery and "clean house." Obviously things haven't work out as planned. Ironically Lee saw through it and prepped his Blendeds and the rest of the unsuspecting to prevent such an occurrence from ever happening. Eventually Titus Chu's own abusive ways did more than anything else to spoil his plans to become the next MOTA. All the church leaders who should have supported him decided that, though the Blendeds were nothing without Lee, the alternative under Titus was far worse.

Terry 05-11-2013 02:44 PM

Re: Titus 1:10-16 Correcting False Teachers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ohio (Post 25656)

[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT][/I]LSM loves to boast in their riches and how they know God, but sadly the Christian public has seen little of this. Instead they know how often LSM was willing to file lawsuits against other Christians. There's hardly a Christian on earth who would not consider LSM's $136 million lawsuit against Heritage House as filthy lucre. Since I Cor. 6 specifically addresses lawsuits, the Local Churches have a reputation for being blatantly disobedient to God's word.

I have no doubt brothers and sisters who meet in the local churches know God. If you are a member of the Body apart from the LSM/LC fellowship it was CRI's articles from the past and the present that give a different perspective. In addition to the lawsuits Ohio has already mentioned. However if are one who has or still currently meeting it those who are the most vociferous that give a different appearance; in their boasting of riches and how well they know God.
I have heard the boasting and at one time I was one who did boast to my non-Recovery brethren. The boasting I have heard over the last several years usually includes all non-Recovery Christians as being in denominations. Boasting you might here goes something along the lines of, "here in the recovery we are under such a rich ministry. We have all the riches and Christianity as nothing."

"But he who boasts is to boast in the Lord."
2 Corinthians 10:17

"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world." 1 John 2:16

The boasting that one may hear on any given Lord's Day prophesying meeting is not in the Lord, but in an earthly ministry.

As to knowing God, to what degree? Having been raised in the LC and spending a portion of my adult life in the LC I do see there is a lot of head knowledge of the Bible, doctrines, and biblical truths, but what about blessing and love?

Romans 12:14 says "Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse." How often when a brother or sister is considered "an opposer", "a rebel", or "a man of death", instead of blessing these saints, these saints are cursed. I realize this is a difficult habit to break especially when it becomes a form of peer pressure. How is it Watchman Nee brings out the necessity of blessing to be a practice? Yet blessing is not a practice.

You will hear about love, but loving unconditionally? To love our neighbors as ourselves? The BBrothers say we love all the brothers; even "the top rebels". Yet will not even lift a finger to go visit. If you love "the top rebels", don't just talk about it. Which is why some of the most vocal blendeds have become a noisy gong.

"If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. " 1 Corinthians 13:1


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