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Old 01-30-2014, 10:29 AM   #37
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Join Date: Jan 2014
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Default Re: How to help people whose friends and relatives are active members of th

Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
You have done your homework ICA. This is helpful. Perhaps it can be made "sticky."
I am still in the process. Wish someone could help me to systematize my thoughts.

Right now I am thinking of an algorithm that might make a leeist with rational mind leave the Local Church, in other words, what he should know about this organization and how this knowledge can help him to make a decision.

1 The False Gospel of Witness Lee.

One should know that the Local Church doesn't follow teachings of Christ but Witness Lee’s teachings. And they are two different things.

How the Local Church doctrines contradict the teachings of Scripture... (There must be some examples)

a) The Overcomers and the Non-Overcomers.

"This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God." 1 John 5:3-5

b) Easy-Believism

"And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." In this phrase they take "calling on the name" out of context, not considering the figure of speech being used. But they should have realized their error if they simply read Romans 10.

Romans 10:13,14

"for, 'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?
And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?
And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?"

To call on someone's name is not simply to mouth the words, as they advocate. One must first know the person. In reality what happens in such conversions is that a person is given the phrase "O Lord Jesus", and then sticks it on whatever idol the person has built in their own mind of what a "Jesus" is, rather than conforming their definition of Christ to the Bible. (But then again I find similar practices quite common in other evangelical churches too).

Secondly in teaching unbelievers to say "O Lord" they are teaching people to lie. To call Jesus "Lord" without the intention of doing what he said, that is to practice lying. Jesus said,"Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?"Luke 6:46 According to Jesus what he thinks calling him "Lord" means is that, perhaps among other things, you are agreeing to to what he said. In fact there are perhaps many Christians who likewise are lying, not having the right to call Jesus "Lord", as allegedly "believing in Christ" but without the intention of doing what he said.

c) ...

d) ...

2 The Local Church and Non-denominational Churches.

The Local Church is not a non-denomination church, but a denomination in its own right, the denomination of Witness Lee.

a) Principles, signs, and similarities of denominational churches and the church of Witness Lee.

- reading texts written by only one author
- undivided authority - headquarters and LSM
- indisputable authority of Witness Lee and elders
- hierarchy - full-times, elders and responsible brothers

3 The Local Church and Cult Characteristics.

a) Principles, warning signs, and similarities between cults and the church of Witness Lee.

- self-appointed, dogmatic and messianic leader who is always right.
- reading texts written by one author.
- undivided authority - headquarters and LSM.
- indisputable reputation and authority of Witness Lee and elders
- WL is the exclusive means of knowing "truth", no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.
- anything the leader does can be justified no matter how harsh or harmful.
- no critical questions about leader, doctrine, or policy seen as legitimate. The leadership are godly, honest, have divine authority and you must trust them.
- extreme obsessiveness regarding the leader resulting in the exclusion of almost every practical consideration ("Fellowship with brothers", "Ask the Lord which tie to wear today.")
- misplaced loyalty. Loyalty for Christ is replaced by the Local Church and Witness Lee.
- claiming to have a special corner on the truth, something no other groups has. They put down other churches, while pointing out their faults and errors to build themselves up.
- blind loyalty to whatever Witness Lee and elders say.
- pride of the group. We are the only ones who are right. (As a brother said, "They don't think they can learn anything from you. They believe that already have all the answers").
- they alone have the truth so one must join them to be saved. The cult has an us against them attitude.
- submission.
- preoccupying with bringing in new members.
- discouraging questioning and critical thinking, rejection of rational analysis and constructive criticism.
- automatic acceptance of beliefs.
- devotion to convert others to their group and its belief system. Service to the church is understood as service to God. Meetings are mandatory. One's meetings will keep them so busy they will no longer have time for their friends and family, job or hobbies.
- blind implicit belief in Witness Lee and his word.
- Mind-numbing, mind-altering practices and techniques.
- elitism, claiming a special, exalted status for themselves and their teachings.
- inducing guilt feelings in members.
- Divine Commission - claiming new revelation from God.
- schedule control, major time commitment required for indoctrination sessions and group rituals, keeping members so busy they don't have time to think. They expect you to attend all group activities.
- mind programming and intense study with focus is on the LC doctrines.
- extensive use of cult generated information and propaganda - radio, books, magazines, journals, bookshops.
- excessive use of fear, fear of thinking independently, fear of losing one's "salvation", fear of leaving the group or being shunned by group, fear of disapproval.
- phobia indoctrination - programming of irrational fears of ever leaving the group or even questioning the leader's authority. The members feel there can be no life outside the context of the Local Church. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.
- no happiness or fulfillment "outside" of the group.
- terrible consequences will take place if you leave: "hell"; "demon possession"; "incurable diseases"; "accidents"; "suicide"; "insanity"; etc.
- shunning of leave takers. Fear of being rejected by friends, peers, and family.
- never a legitimate reason to leave. From the group's perspective, people who leave are: "weak"; "undisciplined"; "unspiritual"; "worldly"; "brainwashed by family, counselors"; seduced by money, power, sex, rock and roll.
- information control.
- need to ask permission for major decisions.
- rejection of old values.
- confusing doctrines.
- adopting "loaded" language (characterized by "thought-terminating clichés").
- need to internalize the group's doctrine as "Truth".
- individualism discouraged, group think prevails.
- thought-stopping techniques - chanting, hamming and various forms of repetitive actions to stop critical thinking.
- no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or evil.
- former followers are at best considered negative or worse evil and under bad influences. They can not be trusted and personal contact is avoided.
- former members relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.
- striving for the unreachable - no matter what you do, it is never enough.
- followers feel they can never be "good enough", there is no spiritual growth after many years.

b) Similarities between the church of Witness Lee and Mormons, Jehovah Witness, Islam, etc.

(Actually, it's more or less the same but maybe there are some good points to mention).


4 Peace, Love and Salvation in Christ.

Salvation in Christ, not the Church of Witness Lee. Leaving the Local Church, one should not be afraid that he is betraying God. He doesn't betray God. He comes back to Him.

Brothers, what can we mention?

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
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