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Old 09-18-2020, 09:25 PM   #5
Trapped
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Join Date: Mar 2018
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Default Re: Where Should I Meet If Not At The Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter2020 View Post
I am a 28 year old male who attended Local Church for the past 7 years, I met them at the "Christians on Campus" while I was a student. I've been involved in various capacities, but then it gradually caused major divisions in my life, especially with my family and my girlfriend of 6 years who broke up with me, largely because of my involvement with the LC group.

I'm at a loss now, because I want to pursue the Lord and find a Church that is not as controlling as the LC but still allows members to be active in participation and "safe" from subtle brainwashing. I feel like Witness Lee had some very enlightening teachings, but the LC puts too much emphasis on him and discredits other teachers outside the LC ministry. I'm curious if there are Christian churches out there that draw from Witness Lee, but are not dependent on it for their sole ministry? Does anyone have any recommendations?
Welcome Peter2020!

Glad to see your post, and hope you can say more and engage a little.

I had a few thoughts when reading your post. These are coming from my perspective, or my filter, as someone who was in the LC for some time, born and raised into adulthood, and then realized how harmful and damaging it was for so long. So my responses come from that angle.....a careful, cautious angle, if you will.

I'm not sure if there is a church out there that we can plant a pole into the ground and raise a flag on that pole that says "SAFE"!!! It's possible for churches that are healthy to become unhealthy over time, so it's on each of us to be watchful, alert, and discerning no matter where we are. Satan is a crafty schemer, and wolves can arise from within the church. No place is truly safe for ever for all time. It's our responsibility to be an active member caring for the truth, and not a passive member. I'm not saying you're a passive member.....I'm just saying that from my experience going through the valley of the shadow of death in the LC that I now understand much better what all those exhortations, urgings, commands, and warnings in the Bible were about false apostles, false prophets, wolves in the eldership, systems of error, winds of teaching, etc. Our lives and our teachings need to be watched closely.

I hope that doesn't discourage you, because the flip side is that you really can relax a little. If you find a church that has sound, healthy teachings, and whose elders/pastors understand they are not God's deputy authorities but are called to serve and shepherd the flock, then you can surely lean in and enjoy and hopefully get some healing from your LC experience. All I'm saying is we just can't be blind and naive, and think "that can't happen here", that's all. I would say the way to be safe from brainwashing is to learn about brainwashing. It's hard to identify unless you have information about what it is. Steven Hassan's BITE model about behavior, information, thought, and emotion control is a good start. And as I've said to other posters, read books on spiritual abuse ("The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse" by Johnson and Van Vonderen is a good one. I also found "Healing Spiritual Abuse" by Ken Blue to be particularly relevant to the LC experience). Those two topics will go a long way towards keeping you safe.

Regarding Witness Lee, unfortunately he is kind of a binary, all or nothing kinda guy. If you like Witness Lee and really espouse his teachings, by default you will espouse ONLY his teachings, because that's what's laced throughout his teachings and the churches associated with his teachings. If you see some of the real, concerning, disturbing problems with his teachings, then the majority of people realize the bad is not worth the good, and simply go find the good elsewhere without so much arsenic bad mixed in. So to find a church that reads Witness Lee, but relegates him to the back burner is almost an oxymoron, although I think a handful probably exist. Sons to Glory (a poster on this forum) seems to do a decent job of straining out the bad, but not everyone has that ability. The reason the LC puts too much emphasis on Lee and discredits other ministers is because Lee taught them to do that, so he's just not really someone you want to take in.

All I can say is there are tens of thousands of churches in the U.S., if that's where you are from (since you mentioned Christians on Campus). You may not get the kind of Sunday prophesying meeting participation you are used to, but many churches have their own version of home meetings where participation can happen in a more human way than occurs in the LC, (where participation is usually just going around in a circle, reading what Lee had to say, and then repeating what he had to say).

There are churches out there for you. It will just take some time and some hitting and missing. It's just a matter of visiting around (or, watching sermons online at the moment, I guess) and seeing/hearing for yourself what their focus is - knowing and loving God, or something else. Just put your search in God's hands as you look for a place. Start going to places nearby and visit around to a new place every week so you can get an idea of what's out there. Give it to Him. Tell Him you want to find a good, safe church. It may be a rough journey, but He'll walk with you on the journey.

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