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Old 06-15-2019, 06:51 AM   #15
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,185
Default Re: Open Letter - Dear Saints in the Lord's Recovery

Originally Posted by Raptor View Post
Hi, ...I just recently began to learn about all the hidden history of the LR. To you all that have been aware of this for a while, how do you evaluate the impact of this letter from the Casteelīs and all the Facebook responses so far? I know there are many other documents from others and letters, etc., but how do I put this letter and responses into perspective?

In other words, does this open FB post with so many saints supporting and confirming with their own experiences seem like something really big is happening and gaining momentum, like the cat is really out of the bag now, or maybe just not yet?

(me? just a brother in the church for years and years looking to the Lord to understand.....)
I'm reminded of the story I once read of a torture and murder of Christian confessors. It was held in public, in the arena, with the local magistrate (praetor) presiding. You see these people held to an unseen God, who was above all, and His manifested Christ who was the Galilean Jew Jesus of Nazareth. To the Roman rulers this was godlessness, and treasonous against the Emperor (and Empire).

So the Christians were herded into the ampitheatre to be mauled and destroyed before all the local inabitants.

As the magistrate proclaimed Judgment, one of the soldiers stepped forward and confessed that he, too, believed. He was summarily placed with the Christians and died on the spot.

It only takes one brave person to step forward. At that moment when the soldier publicly left the ranks of the oppressor and stood for the oppressed, the enslaving power of the Roman sword (fear) was exposed. The whole crowd saw the fall of earthly power (coercion) and the the display of heavenly power (faith).

The LSM ruled the LC by fear for decades, but some brave persons are saying, "Enough" and stepping forward.

Many have not spoken out because of the power of "the ministry" over their lives. College students who rely on parents' funding. Older couples who fear losing touch with their grand-children. Husbands who know that estrangement and divorce may follow. Same with wives. There are real consequences of speaking up - ostracism, judgment, shame. Not to mention "divine retribution" - a thousand years in darkness, or worse.

But people are stepping forward. Here are two on the FB page:

BTW, my husband is also an elder. I had my eyes opened gradually over the last 3 years by a gradual, spiritual, life changing process of healing. The more my joy increased, the more I realized how off things were until I just said, "No thank-you, I don't much care for what you have to offer." This was after being extremely involved in the church life since 1981 & raising my 4 kids therein. I even testified for damages in the law suite against the book "The God Men" because of the persecution I experienced coming into the "church." However, when I started getting healed, I realized that no one I knew, or was aware of, in the church life was getting any real, practical, saving, healing help from the "ministry," others in the church, or even their God, at all. No one was changing & no one was joyful. In fact, no one had anything (spiritual) that I wanted or even wanted to be around at all. I already had all the same knowledge. So I walked away & am so thankful to be free. The Lord is so good, kind, merciful, compassionate, caring, loving and gracious. I am now experiencing more every day what it is to truly know Him (vs religion) and His incomparable love for me.

This speaks to a point I have made before: in the LC they are told that sitting in a meeting under the ministry of Lee, they are "absorbing God" and by pray-reading HWMR and outlines they are "masticating God" and they'll undergo "metabolic transformation" and "become God in life and nature" but if so, why no transformation? As the post says, "No one was changing and no one was joyful". So where is the evidence that you are becoming God? Where is the hopeful sign? I don't see one.

2nd testimony:

When corruption started being exposed in the LSM office regarding W Lee's son around 1988 and the events that followed, all the politics, fleshly behavior, reactions to cover up and defend the status quo, I told the Lord that He brought me into the "Recovery" and if wanted me to leave it would have to His speaking and leading. I spent over a year in desperate prayer giving the Lord permission to have His way in my life. Slowly He started opening my eyes. It shook my entire being. Then during the conference in Pasadena in 1989 the Lord spoke it was time to leave. What I had devoted my life to had become something other than what we claimed. I cried all the way home. My wife was clear as well. Then began the process to coming back to my first love, Christ.

Then to someone who said he was judgmental and should "Look away unto Jesus" (i.e. be quiet) he replied:

dear brother, I was in the local church from 1975-1989. Sometime in the mids 80s when we took the ground in our outpost, I was made an elder with two other brothers. I was as dedicated and zealous as any of the saints. I loved Brother Lee, the churches, etc. I spent my extra time preaching the gospel, including multiple trips to smuggle Bibles to China from 1979-1982. As we used to say Christ is our life and the church is our living. I have amazing memories of my days meeting with the saints.Then sometime in the mid eighties things started to change, become more organized, centralized. I started waking up the morning in fear I was in a Christian cult. Were did those thoughts come from? I figured it was the enemy.

Then, as you can find the history in detail by doing a search, word got out that Phillip Lee was caught in adultery. Many saints were stumbled and leading ones went to Brother Lee. Brother Lee said he would do something about it. Then other leading brothers, especially from Texas, used this as an opportunity to weasel their way into Lee’s inner circle and push out the leading brothers from So. California. The result was Phillip Lee was promoted to head up the Living Stream Ministry office. (This was 30 years ago, so my timing of promoting Phillip may be a little off. May have been earlier.)

This began a difficult time when the saints in Anaheim and surrounding areas started taking sides. Many were appalled that a sinning brother who had past immoral indiscretions was exalted while others had seen the adultery were being silenced. This turned into there is a conspiracy to oppose W. Lee and the ministry. Confusion abounded. Many on both sides reacted in the flesh.

Eventually Brother Lee believed there was a conspiracy and went to war. I was in those elders’ meetings where W Lee was angry, scorched brothers. I saw an ugly side of him that shocked me, a side we never saw in meetings. Then there were big meetings where Bro Lee drew a line and said anyone who was not 100% for his ministry to get out. If you were just 99%, you should leave the “Recovery.”

I was in much inner conflict. Many went on a war campaign to defend the ministry. Suspicion abounded. The atmosphere was toxic. It was the Lord who brought me into the church, so it would have to be Him who took me out. I spent a year in desperate prayer. Then in a conference in Pasadena in 1989, everything came to a head. W. Lee proclaimed he was the commander in chief, the deputy authority, the oracle of God. He was the only one God was speaking through. No other brothers had anything to offer except repeat his words. Then he, figuratively speaking, spoke ill of a dear deceased brother name G. H. Lang who had written a book warning that churches should not be centralized, but be independent while maintaining fellowship with one another. Bro. Lee acted like he threw the book on the ground and spit on it. I was appalled by such behavior. After that meeting, I cried all the way home. Then the Lord said it was time to leave. The word that came to me was “Let no one rob you of your prize: Christ.” I realized my devotion and love to the Lord was often replaced by devotion to Lee and the ministry. It was a mixture .

What I had given myself to had fallen into something sectarian and corrupted. Adultery had been tolerated and even the perpetrator exalted. That's when many leadings ones, pillars in the church: John Ingalls, Bill Mallon, John So, John Smith, Hudson Du, Paul Ma, Joseph Fung, Jospeh Chu, Virginia Say, Ken Unger, Ned Nossaman, Don Hardy, Don Rutledge, to name just a few, left or were kicked out.

This was followed by message after message that the ones who left were lepers and full of poison. Avoid them. Don’t talk with them.

After the concerned saints left, things took off where the local churches in practicality became Living Stream Ministry churches, and everything became centralized.The focus was on the work, expansion, trainings, full timers. On paper there was still the teaching of gathering on the ground on oneness for all believers, but in practice it becomes another sectarian centralized system, though filled with many seeking saints.

I left thirty years ago and have not thought much about the “Recovery” in many years, though I often pray for the saints whom I love. The recent activity and reading the reports of hundreds of young people who have left, some giving up the faith, has renewed a hope in me the Lord may be shaking things. Why? Because He is the Head. My prayer is the saints would come back to the simplicity and purity towards Christ, allow God to shake whatever can be shaken, bring the whole thing back to first love: Christ. You may say I am full of judgment, but the Lord knows my heart. Blessings.

It's important for people to step forward and speak truth to power. Earthly, temporal power often rules by fear. But all power ultimately belongs to God.

Jesus gave us a clear pattern: if someone stumbles you, go to them privately and the Lord can cover it. If they refuse you, bring a witness. If they refuse you both, tell it to the church. Witness Lee and his minions repeatedly refused to hear the private witnesses.
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
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